Sunday, May 16, 2010
Jays complete sweep of Rangers, 5-2
The Rangers outhit Toronto, 9-3, on Sunday, but the Blue Jays made the most of their hits to complete a three-game home sweep with a 5-2 victory.
On the bright side, the Rangers will return home with no worse than a one-game lead over the Oakland Athletics. The A's lost the first two of a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels, with Game 3 on Sunday afternoon. The third-place Angels, who trailed the Rangers by three games pending the result of their third game against the A's, come to Arlington for a quick two-game series Monday and Tuesday. (UPDATE: The Angels completed the sweep and come to Texas 2 1/2 games behind the Rangers and a half-game behind Oakland.)
* The efficient Blue Jays went 2-for-3 with runners in scoring position and stranded four runners. The Rangers didn't take advantage of their chances, going 2-for-8 with RISP and stranding five. The Rangers hit into three double plays and had a runner caught stealing.
* Each team loaded the bases once. When the Jays did it with two outs in the sixth, John Buck's double plated three runs. Texas did it with no outs in the seventh, but pinch hitter Vladimir Guerrero grounded into a double play and the Rangers only mustered one run in the inning.
* The Blue Jays' pitching staff pumped up its strikeout totals during the three-game sweep with 11 more. The Rangers struck out six times Friday and 12 more times during Saturday's shutout by Ricky Romero. Nelson Cruz (four strikeouts in four at-bats) and Josh Hamilton (three) had the toughest time making contact for the Rangers on Sunday. That's seven strikeouts in his last eight at-bats for Hamilton.
* The Rangers' relievers did their job, with 2 1/3 hitless innings. Chris Ray walked the first batter he faced, but the bullpen retired the next seven hitters, five by strikeout, to finish up. Darren Oliver and Frank Francisco each struck out two in an inning of work.