Monday, May 19, 2014
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Moreland Helps Rangers Beat Blue Jays

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[May 19, 2014]  ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers ditched a four-game losing streak by finally figuring out how to win at home against Toronto.

Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland drilled a two-run home run in the seventh, boosting Texas to a 6-2 victory at Globe Life Park, the Rangers' first at home against the Blue Jays since 2012.

Toronto was threatening to sweep the series at Texas for the second straight season. The Blue Jays entered the game with an 8-1 record against the Rangers the last two seasons, but Texas' six runs on seven hits equaled an offensive explosion when compared to its anemic offense during a four-game losing streak.

For his part, Moreland said he was trying to have a productive at bat and trust the process of hitting. He just happened to be the spark the Rangers needed.

"I was 1-2 in the count; I just wanted to try to get a good pitch and get the barrel to it," Moreland said. "I'm trying to go up there and have a good consistent approach and I'm trying to get a good pitch. I'm happy that it worked out. It worked out well for us today."

The Blue Jays helped the Rangers' offensive cause by committing four errors. However, Toronto manager John Gibbons said his team got away with most of them.

"We made some errors, but only one run scored off of it," Gibbons said. "It looks a little worse than the result we got. We've been really good defensively all year."

Moreland hit Texas' first home run of the weekend series, smacking a two-run shot that just cleared the wall in right field. It followed a throwing error by Blue Jays third baseman Juan Francisco that allowed right fielder Alex Rios to get on base.

Moreland said he was simply trying to battle against Toronto starter R.A. Dickey and the ball got out of the park.

"If you can get that one up in the zone, that's kind of your key," Moreland said. "It's still not easy to hit, so you've got to go up there and try to grind out that at bat. I didn't know. I knew I hit it pretty well. In that situation, I was just trying to extend the inning and create some more opportunities."

The Rangers piled on two runs in the eighth, sparked by designated hitter Shin-Soo Choo's double off the wall in right-center field that scored shortstop Elvis Andrus from first. Choo scored from second on a single by third baseman Adrian Beltre

Texas relief pitcher Aaron Poreda gave up Edwin Encarnacion's tying home run in the sixth, but Poreda worked an otherwise effective two innings to get the win.

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Toronto third baseman Juan Francisco gave the Blue Jays a 1-0 lead in the top of the fourth with a blast to the upper deck in right field. Francisco's home run was the Blue Jays' seventh extra-base hit of the weekend series and it came before the Rangers posted their first extra-base hit in the series.

But Texas ended that drought in the bottom of the fourth. After Choo posted the Rangers first hit by beating out a grounder to short stop for an infield single and Beltre walked, Rios drilled a 1-1 pitch from Dickey off the wall in right-center field for a triple. Rios' shot gave Texas a 2-1 lead, its first of the weekend series.

NOTES: Toronto has dominated Texas over the past two seasons. After Sunday's loss, the Blue Jays now have an 8-2 record against the Rangers, including 6-1 in Texas, since the beginning of the 2013 season. ... Toronto entered Sunday's game leading the American League with 149 extra-base hits this season, including six in the first two games of the series in Texas. That comes in stark contrast to the Rangers, who did not have an extra-base hit in the first two games of the series and ranked tied for 13th in the AL with 105. ... When the Rangers placed LHP Martin Perez and LHP Matt Harrison on the disabled list last week, the club led the majors with 13 players on the disabled list. Over the weekend, 1B Prince Fielder and 2B Rougned Odor missed games due to injures -- Fielder with a stiff neck and Odor with soreness in his right wrist -- though neither player has yet been placed on the DL.

[ 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.]

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