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Texas at Toronto

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Texas (6-9)000101000272
Toronto (12-5) «02002001x570

Blue Jays use long ball to beat majors' best HR-hitting team

CBSSports.com wire reports
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TORONTO -- With every Toronto victory, Lyle Overbay sees his teammates' expectations grow.

Alex Rios hit a two-run homer, Vernon Wells and Overbay also connected and the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 5-2 on Thursday night.

  Jays put closer Ryan, Romero on DL | Texas deals Gabbard, puts Eyre on DL, recalls Mendoza

"You can tell around the clubhouse, everybody is real confident," Overbay said. "It's fun, it's a different atmosphere. Hopefully we can enjoy this for a while."

Toronto won its AL-high 12th game and has won all five series so far. The Blue Jays have not lost back-to-back games this season.

"They're really swinging the bats well," Texas infielder Michael Young said. "They've got the best starting pitcher in the league [in Roy Halladay]. They're a good club."

The last two teams to open the season with five consecutive series victories were the 2003 San Francisco Giants and the 2001 Seattle Mariners. Both went on to win their division.

"It's nice to be in good company," Blue Jays manager Cito Gaston said.

Josh Hamilton and Chris Davis hit solo shots for Texas, with six of the game's seven runs coming on home runs.

Texas has hit a major league-leading 29 home runs this season. Toronto is second with 28.

The Rangers lost for the ninth time in 12 games following a 3-0 start to the season.

Blue Jays right-hander Scott Richmond (2-0) won back-to-back starts for the first time, allowing two runs and six hits in six innings. He walked two and struck out a career-high eight.

"He got us off balance," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "We couldn't figure him out."

Richmond used a tight slider to hold down right-handed batters and stymied lefties with a sharp curveball.

"You can't put it to words what he's doing," Overbay said. "He's spotting his pitches, he knows what he's got to do. He's got the stuff to get guys out, it's just a matter of location. He was putting that curveball on those lefties in a perfect spot where they're not going to hit it, and if they do hit it, they're going to ground out. It was fun to see. He can do that all year."

Brandon League worked the seventh, Jesse Carlson got two outs in the eighth and Shawn Camp got the third before Scott Downs wrapped it up in the ninth for his first save.

Downs took over as Toronto's closer when left-hander B.J. Ryan was placed on the 15-day disabled list with muscle tightness in his back and shoulder. Ryan is 1-0 with an 11.12 ERA and two saves in six games. He blew his second save of the season against Texas on Wednesday, allowing three runs in the ninth.

Wells and Overbay hit solo shots in the second but Hamilton answered with a leadoff home run in the fourth.

Rios hit his first home run of the year -- a two-run drive to left in the fifth -- before Davis hit a solo shot to right in the sixth.

Overbay was glad to see Rios end a home run drought that dated to Sept. 17, 2008.

"It was just a matter of time," Overbay said. "He's got so much pop, it's scary. If he ever figures out that he's that good, the sky is the limit for him. It's fun to watch him on a daily basis."

Texas right-hander Kevin Millwood (1-2) had allowed only three earned runs and one home run in his first three starts but gave up four runs and five hits in this one, including three home runs. He walked two and struck out three.

"Tonight was probably the worst I've pitched out of the four [starts] but I still felt like I gave us a chance," Millwood said. "It's just not working out when I pitch right now."

Scott Rolen's RBI single off righty Jason Jennings gave Toronto an insurance run in the eighth.

Andruw Jones pinch hit for Davis in the eighth and struck out. He stayed in the game at first base, his first career appearance there.

Rangers rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus made two throwing errors, giving him a team-high five.

Notes

  • Overbay has hit in six consecutive games and is 10-for-20 with three home runs and eight RBI in that span.
  • Toronto placed LHP Ricky Romero (strained right oblique) on the 15-day DL and recalled RHP Brian Bullington from Triple-A Las Vegas to take Ryan's spot. The Blue Jays will make another roster move Friday before their game in Chicago against the White Sox.
  • Texas placed RHP Willie Eyre (right groin) on the 15-day DL, recalled Luis Mendoza from Triple-A and traded Triple-A LHP Kason Gabbard to Boston for cash.
  • San Francisco opened the 2003 season with seven consecutive series wins, while Seattle won nine straight in 2001.
  • Toronto Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis Joseph attended the game.
 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
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In the second inning, Toronto's Vernon Wells opens the scoring with his third home run of the season.  (AP)
In the second inning, Toronto's Vernon Wells opens the scoring with his third home run of the season. (AP)

Players of the Game
Toronto

A. Rios
AB 4
R 1
H 1
HR 1
RBI 2
Texas

J. Hamilton
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 1
 
Texas Rangers
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000020 .381
Michael Young, 3B4010020 .300
Josh Hamilton, CF4121001 .246
Hank Blalock, DH4010011 .226
Nelson Cruz, RF4020011 .298
Chris Davis, 1B3111023 .200
   a- Andruw Jones, PH-1B1000011 .421
David Murphy, LF1000201 .000
   b- Marlon Byrd, PH1000000 .341
Taylor Teagarden, C4000044 .067
Elvis Andrus, SS4000000 .300
Totals34272213  
a-struck out for Davis in the 8th
b-grounded out for Murphy in the 9th
Batting
2B - Hank Blalock (2, Richmond)
HR - Josh Hamilton (2, Richmond), Chris Davis (3, Richmond)
RBI - Josh Hamilton (10), Chris Davis (6)
2-OUT RBI - Chris Davis (3)
SB - Nelson Cruz (2, 2nd base off Richmond/Barajas)
Team LOB - 7
Fielding
DP - Kinsler-Andrus-Davis
E - Elvis Andrus 2 (5, Throwing)
Texas Rangers
Kevin Millwood (L,1-2) 7544233 2.10
Jason Jennings 1211200 1.29
IBB - Overbay by Jason Jennings
Pitches-Strikes - Kevin Millwood 116-73, Jason Jennings 28-15
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Kevin Millwood 9-9, Jason Jennings 2-1
Batters Faced - Kevin Millwood 28, Jason Jennings 7
Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS4000011 .246
Aaron Hill, 2B4220000 .377
Alex Rios, RF4112002 .247
Vernon Wells, CF4111001 .257
Adam Lind, DH3000110 .333
Scott Rolen, 3B4021000 .305
Lyle Overbay, 1B2111200 .342
Rod Barajas, C4000005 .213
Travis Snider, LF2000110 .270
Totals3157543  
Batting
2B - Aaron Hill (5, Millwood)
HR - Alex Rios (1, Millwood), Vernon Wells (3, Millwood), Lyle Overbay (3, Millwood)
RBI - Alex Rios 2 (11), Vernon Wells (7), Scott Rolen (6), Lyle Overbay (10)
2-OUT RBI - Alex Rios 2 (6), Scott Rolen (2), Lyle Overbay (6)
Team LOB - 6
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Richmond (W,2-0) 6622282 3.31
Brandon League (H,1) 1000010 6.75
Jesse Carlson (H,3) 0.2100020 1.93
Shawn Camp (H,2) 0.1000010 0.00
Scott Downs (S,1) 1000010 0.93
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Richmond 103-64, Brandon League 11-7, Jesse Carlson 16-12, Shawn Camp 5-4, Scott Downs 10-7
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Richmond 4-6, Brandon League 2-0, Scott Downs 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Richmond 26, Brandon League 3, Jesse Carlson 3, Shawn Camp 1, Scott Downs 3
Game Information
Attendance - 15487
Game Time - 2:38
Temperature - 68
Umpires - Home - Hunter Wendelstedt, First Base - Dana DeMuth, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Doug Eddings