Final

Series: Game 1 of 3

Texas leads 1-0 (as of 7/16)

Game 1: Friday, July 16
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Texas11
Game 2: Saturday, July 17
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Game 3: Sunday, July 18
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Blue Jays 2

(39-50, 16-27 away)

Rangers 11

(50-37, 26-12 home)

    8:05 PM ET, July 16, 2004

    Globe Life Park in Arlington, Arlington, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    TOR 001000100 2 9 0
    TEX 01500302 - 11 15 2

    W: R. Drese (5-5)

    L: R. Halladay (7-7)

    Nix is 4-for-4 with two-run homer

    ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Ryan Drese insists he doesn't pitch any differently at home. The Texas right-hander just gets better results there.

    Drese allowed just one earned run pitching into the eighth inning, and the AL West-leading Rangers start the second half of the season with an 11-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

    "What Ryan's doing is incredible," said Laynce Nix, who was 4-for-4 with a two-run homer in just his third game back from the disabled list.

    Drese (5-5) has gotten all of his wins at home, where his 1.91 ERA is the second-best in the AL behind Oakland's Tim Hudson. He scattered nine hits, seven of them singles, the last by Dave Berg leading off the eighth.

    The only home loss for Drese was 1-0 in a complete game against Houston on June 27, the Rangers' last home game until Friday night. He had allowed 11 earned runs over 16 innings in three starts since then.

    "I do the same thing at home as I do on the road. I'm not taking a different approach," said Drese, who wasn't even in the starting rotation when the season began. "It happens. That's just the way it falls."

    The AL West-leading Rangers (50-37) had a better record at this point in the season only once, when they were 51-36 in 1996 -- when they won their first division title.

    Drese got plenty of offensive support. The Rangers had 15 hits and responded after Toronto's unearned run in the third with five runs in the bottom half of the inning to lead for good.

    Alfonso Soriano, the All-Star game MVP, had a two-run homer and a pair of RBI singles. First baseman Mark Teixeira, the only Texas starting infielder who didn't play in the All-Star game, homered and drew a bases-loaded walk.

    Nix, the No. 9 hitter in the order, scored three times and was a triple shy of a cycle. Gary Matthews was 3-for-4 with a single in the second, a double in the sixth and a triple an inning later.

    The Rangers chased 2003 AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay (7-7) after four innings, his shortest outing this season. He gave up six runs on seven hits before leaving with what the right-hander described as a tired arm.

    Halladay had two strikeouts and three walks, upping his season total to 36 -- four more than in his 266 innings all of last season. He is 2-3 with a 5.85 ERA in seven starts since returning from the disabled list because of soreness in his right shoulder.

    "I don't know what the best thing to do is right now. I'm not always 100 percent," Halladay said.

    "The ball's not coming out of his hand the way we're used to see it," manager Carlos Tosca said. "He doesn't have a sharp breaking ball, and he's pitching entirely with his fastball. And his fastball right now isn't his top fastball."

    Tosca said Halladay would be evaluated in the coming days.

    The Rangers took the lead after Teixeira's solo homer to center with one out in the second. It was his 19th of the season and 10th during a 25-game stretch during which he has hit .361.

    After Toronto tied the game with an unearned run, Texas turned three singles and three walks in the bottom of the third into five runs. The first four scored before an out, including consecutive RBI singles by All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock and Soriano.

    Nix's 10th homer, a two-run shot, came off Bob File in a three-run sixth that gave Texas a 9-1 lead.

    "Hopefully, I get on a roll and stay on the field," said Nix, a .310 hitter who missed 23 games with a sprained right shoulder before returning last weekend. "It feels good to get some results."

    Soriano hit his 19th homer in the eighth off Justin Speier.

    Vernon Wells was 3-for-3 -- all singles -- in his first game back from the disabled list because of a strained right calf. Toronto trailed 9-2 when he was replaced in the field in the seventh inning for precautionary reasons.

    "It was good to be back on the field. I was able to get through a game and not hurt myself," said Wells, who is from Arlington.

    Carlos Delgado, who told Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi earlier Friday that he wouldn't waive his no-trade clause, was 0-for-4. He was robbed of a hit in the sixth when left fielder David Dellucci made a leaping catch and was fully extended when he caught the ball in the gap.

    Game notes


    Texas has eight players with at least 10 homers, tying a team record that has been accomplished five other times. ... Toronto 3B Eric Hinske extended his career-best hitting streak to 14 games with a third-inning single. ... Matthews is hitting .405 at home.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press

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