ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- This time, the Toronto Blue Jays got a little help from their hitters.
Lyle Overbay hit a three-run double, Vernon Wells drove in two runs and the Blue Jays ended a three-game losing streak with an 8-5 victory over the Texas Rangers on Friday night.Four of Toronto's five defeats had been by one run, and the Blue Jays made things a little easier on their pitching and defense on Friday night with a 13-hit attack that included four stolen bases."The last three games, we haven't been as aggressive as we had been the first week," Wells said. "Once we got on base, we wanted to make things happen. We're not going to hit home runs all the time. Sometimes you have to manufacture runs."Jesse Litsch (2-0) allowed two runs and six hits over 5 2/3 innings for the win. Toronto was swept at home by Oakland in a three-game series before opening a five-game road trip.Scott Downs got two outs for his first save of the season.Josh Hamilton homered and had a career-high four RBIs for the Rangers.Texas starter Vicente Padilla (1-1) was perfect over the first three innings, but Toronto broke through for four runs in the fourth with four hits, a walk and some shaky Rangers defense."[Padilla] was tough those first couple of innings," Overbay said. "Then the was a walk and he missed some spots. It was a matter of taking advantage of it."The Rangers, trying to go two games over .500 for the first time since they were 78-76 on Sept. 22, 2006, fell back to the break-even mark. They made three errors -- including two wild throws to second on steal attempts by catcher Gerald Laird -- and several mental mistakes."There were physical errors, we didn't cover first base on one play. We had a night where we threw the ball around," Rangers manager Ron Washington said.Hank Blalock's first homer of the season, a solo drive in the second, put the Rangers in front.Wells, who went 3-for-5, drew the Blue Jays even at 1 in the fourth with an RBI double off the glove of left fielder Frank Catalanotto. Toronto went on to load the bases, and Overbay cleared them with his double on a sharp grounder just inside the first-base line."If Cat makes the play, it's an outstanding play and maybe they only score one, but he didn't make it," Washington said.Litsch worked out of a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth when he retired Ben Broussard on a groundout."He wasn't very sharp, but he knows how to execute and make big pitches when he has to," Toronto manager John Gibbons said. "The kid's a winner."Hamilton's sacrifice fly in the fifth pulled Texas within 4-2. Gregg Zaun scored on double steal in the Toronto sixth.Hamilton hit a two-run homer in the seventh off reliever Brian Wolfe, a drive estimated at 436 feet that landed in the upper deck in right field.But the Rangers were unable to pull closer than three, failing to follow up on a doubleheader sweep of the Baltimore Orioles on Thursday."We've got to play better and cleaner," Broussard said. "Today we played flat."
After the game, Toronto called up INF Joe Inglett from Triple-A Syracuse and optioned OF Buck Coates to Syracuse. ...The Rangers gave LHP C.J. Wilson the night off after he saved both ends of Thursday's doubleheader sweep. RHP Joaquin Benoit was to serve as the closer if Texas needed one. ... Toronto had lost 16 of its previous 19 games in Texas. ... Washington altered his rotation to give No. 4 starter Jason Jennings an extra day's rest. Jennings was due to start Sunday, but he'll be pushed back to Monday. Jennings is 0-2 with a 7.45 ERA in his first two starts this season. ... Texas will recall RHP Scott Feldman from Double-A Frisco to make his first major league start Sunday. Feldman, who has pitched in 73 career games as a reliever for the Rangers, was converted to a starter in spring training. ... The Rangers will have to make a move with their pitching staff to activate Saturday's scheduled starter, RHP Luis Mendoza. Mendoza will be making his first start of the season and fourth of his career.