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
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.
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