ARLINGTON, Texas -- Mitch Moreland’s two-run home run in the seventh inning jolted the run-starved Texas Rangers to life for a 6-2 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Sunday afternoon before 43,671 at Globe Life Park.
Moreland’s second home run of the season snapped a 2-2 tie. The line drive off his bat narrowly cleared the right-field wall and traveled an estimated 359 feet. A pair of Blue Jays errors in the seventh didn’t help the cause of losing pitcher R.A. Dickey. The Jays finished with four errors.
The Rangers snapped a four-game losing streak, a slide that was marked by an output of only six runs. The win allowed Texas to salvage the final game of the three-game series.
Texas came into the game winless in its past nine games when its opponent scored, a streak that began May 5 in Colorado.
Shot in the arm: The Rangers sent 13 batters to the plate before getting a ball out of the infield against one-time Ranger Dickey. But No. 13 proved lucky. Alex Rios lined a two-run triple off the base of the wall in right-center in the fourth inning to give the Rangers a 2-1 lead and a desperately needed offensive lift.
Solid again: Rookie Nick Martinez gave the Rangers five strong innings and solidified his bid to become a permanent fixture in the rotation. He limited the Blue Jays to four hits, with the only damage a 406-foot solo home run by Juan Francisco into the upper deck of the home run porch in the fourth inning.
Steal stopper: Robinson Chirinos continues to climb up the chart in thwarting opponents’ stolen bases. Chirinos improved his caught-stealing rate to 45 percent (10-for-22) when he erased Anthony Gose in the fifth inning.
Kick save: Beltre’s bid for the first Rangers hit was denied thanks to the lower leg of Dickey. The knuckleball specialist intentionally put his leg in front of Beltre’s ground ball. Once it was deflected, Blue Jays shortstop Jose Reyes had no problem getting the out at first.
Shutdown bullpen: Shawn Tolleson had no problem working a scoreless eighth, getting three fly balls. Aaron Poreda’s only mistake in two innings was allowing a 413-foot home run by Edwin Encarnacion that tied the game. Joakim Soria finished in a nonsave situation.
Immediate test: Second baseman Luis Sardinas became a late lineup addition for the Rangers when Rougned Odor was scratched with a sore right wrist. Reyes, the game’s first batter, floated a fly ball to right field that Sardinas gathered in on the run and at the same time avoided sliding right fielder Rios.
Up next: After a Monday off, the Rangers entertain the Seattle Mariners in the opener of a two-game series with Colby Lewis (3-2, 4.99 ERA) facing Hisashi Iwakuma (2-0, 16.69 ERA) at 7:05 p.m. on ESPN 103.3 FM and Fox Sports Southwest.