Toronto at Texas

Scoreboard
Toronto (59-72)200100100451
Texas (74-58) «01012200x6101

Rangers top Blue Jays, pick up game in AL playoff chase

CBSSports.com wire reports
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ARLINGTON, Texas -- Already without injured third baseman Michael Young, the Texas Rangers suddenly lost slugger Josh Hamilton in the middle of the game when they were down.

"It seems like when adversity hits this team, they play their best," manager Ron Washington said.

Despite the absence of two of their All-Stars, the Rangers gained ground in the American League playoff chase with their third straight victory, 6-4 over Toronto on Wednesday night.

  Rangers SS Young out two weeks with strained hamstring

Hamilton left because of sore lower back that has bothered him since last weekend. He was already hurting when he had a leadoff double to right in the fourth, sliding headfirst into second before then scoring on a single by Nelson Cruz that got the Rangers to 3-2 before he left the game.

An inning later, the rookies at the top of the batting order put Texas ahead to stay.

Julio Borbon drew a one-out walk before 21-year-old shortstop Elvis Andrus, moved from ninth to second in the order with Young out, hit his sixth homer to make it 4-3. Andrus flipped his bat away as soon as he hit the ball, and his fellow rookie looked back laughing while trotting around the bases.

"I started jogging and smiled. It was a good feeling, especially that time of the game," Borbon said. "We try to play our game, get on base and make things happen."

An inning later, Cruz hit his 30th homer off Scott Richmond (6-8).

Texas moved within 3½ games of the AL West-leading Angels, who have lost two in a row. It is the closest the Rangers have been in the division since the same margin Aug. 9 after a win in Los Angeles. The Rangers are 2½ games behind wild-card leader Boston after the Red Sox lost at Tampa Bay.

The Rangers know they will be without Young at least two weeks because of a strained left hamstring sustained running out a grounder Tuesday night. Now, they have to worry about Hamilton, whose back has been bothering him since playing on the turf in Minnesota last weekend.

"I've been getting treatment and doing everything I can to make it feel better," Hamilton said. "It seems like the more I run, the worse it feels."

Hamilton was slow getting to his feet at second base. When he got to the dugout after scoring, manager Ron Washington asked if he was OK.

"I told him I was," Hamilton said. "I went to run out to center field and just couldn't really do it."

Texas has a day off before playing in Baltimore on Friday night. Hamilton, on the disabled list twice earlier this season after crashing into outfield walls making catches, said he was hopeful that with treatment he would be ready to play.

Rookie right-hander Tommy Hunter (7-3) allowed four runs over seven innings and had four strikeouts. C.J. Wilson retired all four batters he faced before Frank Francisco finished for his 22nd save in 25 chances -- and third in two days after getting both in a doubleheader sweep Tuesday.

Toronto wrapped up a 1-6 road trip against the Rangers and Red Sox. The only victory was 18-10 in the opener of the four-game set in Texas when the Blue Jays let an 11-0 lead get cut to one run before scoring seven times in the ninth.

"It's not good," manager Cito Gaston said.

"We've played a couple teams in the wild card. We're trying to be spoilers," Richmond said. "We're trying to stir the pot a little bit and fell short."

Richmond was pulled after walking the next two batters after the Cruz homer. The right-hander is 0-3 with a 7.27 ERA in five starts since returning from the disabled list after 30 days recovering from biceps tendinitis.

Toronto led 2-0 in the first after Adam Lind had an RBI double and then came home on a single by Lyle Overbay, who was thrown out trying to go to second on the play. Overbay's solo homer in the fourth, his 14th, put Toronto up 3-1.

Andrus saved a run on defense, even after he bobbled Jose Bautista's grounder for an error in the fourth. Andrus recovered to scoop up the ball and threw out Randy Ruiz, trying to score from second, to end the inning.

Ruiz made up for his running miscue when he led off the seventh with a homer.

Notes

  • Cruz has 23 solo homers.
  • Toronto SS Marco Scutaro had his third error in three games, after only four errors the first 126 games this season. His throwing error in the sixth allowed a run.
  • Blue Jays rookie LHP Brett Cecil will get an extra start this season. His scheduled start Saturday at the New York Yankees was supposed to be his last, but Gaston said Cecil will also start Sept. 11 at Detroit.
 
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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Josh Hamilton exits the game after aggravating his sore lower back with a headfirst slide into second base.  (AP)
Josh Hamilton exits the game after aggravating his sore lower back with a headfirst slide into second base. (AP)

Players of the Game
Texas

N. Cruz
AB 4
R 2
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Toronto

L. Overbay
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1
RBI 2
 

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Toronto Blue Jays
Marco Scutaro, SS4000010 .285
Aaron Hill, 2B3100110 .285
Adam Lind, LF4111020 .303
Lyle Overbay, 1B4122010 .273
Rod Barajas, C4000000 .241
Randy Ruiz, DH3121100 .306
Travis Snider, RF3000101 .218
Jose Bautista, CF3000012 .219
John McDonald, 3B3000000 .253
Totals3145436  
Batting
2B - Adam Lind (44, Hunter)
HR - Lyle Overbay (14, Hunter), Randy Ruiz (5, Hunter)
RBI - Adam Lind (91), Lyle Overbay 2 (55), Randy Ruiz (8)
Team LOB - 3
Fielding
DP - Hill-Overbay, McDonald-Hill-Overbay
E - Marco Scutaro (7, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Scott Richmond (L,6-8) 5765432 4.53
Jesse Carlson 1000010 4.79
Casey Janssen 1100010 6.06
Brian Wolfe 1200000 6.10
Pitches-Strikes - Scott Richmond 105-66, Jesse Carlson 15-10, Casey Janssen 22-12, Brian Wolfe 11-8
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Scott Richmond 3-8, Jesse Carlson 1-1, Casey Janssen 1-1, Brian Wolfe 1-1
Batters Faced - Scott Richmond 25, Jesse Carlson 3, Casey Janssen 4, Brian Wolfe 4
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, DH3110101 .368
Elvis Andrus, SS4112000 .268
Ian Kinsler, 2B4000000 .254
Josh Hamilton, CF2110010 .270
    Marlon Byrd, CF2010000 .274
Nelson Cruz, RF4232011 .270
David Murphy, LF2110201 .266
Ivan Rodriguez, C3000114 .254
Hank Blalock, 1B4021001 .238
    Omar Vizquel, 3B0000000 .299
Chris Davis, 3B-1B4000024 .215
Totals32610545  
Batting
2B - Josh Hamilton (17, Richmond)
HR - Elvis Andrus (6, Richmond), Nelson Cruz (30, Richmond)
RBI - Elvis Andrus 2 (29), Nelson Cruz 2 (69), Hank Blalock (58)
2-OUT RBI - Hank Blalock (22)
Team LOB - 6
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Nelson Cruz 1
E - Elvis Andrus (17, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Tommy Hunter (W,7-3) 7544242 3.14
C.J. Wilson (H,14) 1.1000020 3.19
Frank Francisco (S,22) 0.2000100 3.32
Pitches-Strikes - Tommy Hunter 86-62, C.J. Wilson 14-9, Frank Francisco 10-5
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Tommy Hunter 4-12, C.J. Wilson 1-1
Batters Faced - Tommy Hunter 27, C.J. Wilson 4, Frank Francisco 3
Game Information
Attendance - 21836
Game Time - 2:31
Temperature - 95
Umpires - Home - Jim Reynolds, First Base - Bill Welke, Second Base - James Hoye, Third Base - Ted Barrett