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Toronto at Texas

W: B. Tallet (1-0) L: D. Nippert (0-1)
S: J. Frasor (1)
HR: TOR - A. Gonzalez (1), V. Wells (2), V. Wells (3)   TEX - V. Guerrero (1), N. Cruz (2)

Blue Jays 7, Rangers 4

CBSSports.com wire reports

ARLINGTON, Texas -- Vernon Wells is having quite a season-opening homecoming.

Wells hit two more home runs, Jason Frasor pitched an uneventful ninth after blowing a save on opening day and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-4 on Wednesday night.

Wells' tiebreaking two-run homer in the fifth put Toronto ahead to stay, and he led off the ninth with another drive.

The longest-tenured Blue Jays player in his 12th season, Wells grew up in Arlington and still lives in the area. This is the first time he has gotten to open a season at home, and he has three home runs in the two games.

"It's just trying not to miss your pitches when you get them, that's the biggest thing. So far so good," he said. "There are only 160 more games to go. I don't think I'll keep this pace up."

Still, it's a tremendous start for Wells, who broke his wrist in 2008 and slipped to .260 last season with 15 home runs, his lowest total since becoming a full-time big leaguer in 2002. Wells had surgery on the wrist after last season.

Brian Tallet (1-0) allowed four runs, two earned, and four hits in 6 2/3 innings for the Blue Jays. He struck out six and walked three.

Tallet, one of three left-handers in Toronto's rotation, bounced back nicely after allowing homers to Vladimir Guerrero and Nelson Cruz on consecutive pitches in the fourth, tying it at 3.

"It's a moment of reckoning," Tallet said. "You fold and let things slip away or you buckle down."

Rich Harden had an erratic debut for the Rangers, with eight strikeouts and plenty of misses too without getting a decision. The right-hander was done after giving up back-to-back bases-loaded walks in the fourth.

"I felt like I had good stuff, but they made me throw a lot of pitches and I lost my command that last inning and that's what hurt me," Harden said. "You end up getting tired, especially with guys on base."

Wells, who scored four times, was hit by a pitch leading off the top of the fourth, then Harden walked a batter and struck out another before third baseman Michael Young's error loaded the bases. After a shallow fly ball, Harden walked the No. 9 batter and another to give Toronto a 3-1 lead.

The Blue Jays led 6-3 midway through the seventh despite only two hits at that time -- the homer by Wells off Dustin Nippert (0-1) and a solo shot by Alex Gonzalez that was the only hit allowed by Harden.

Near the end of spring training, hitting coach Dwayne Murphy pulled Wells aside to try an adjustment that got his hands and his weight back more in his stance.

"If I get ready on time, everything else kind of works after that," Wells said. "I can tell if I'm late, I can tell if I'm on time, and just try to be on time as much as possible."

So far, Wells is right on schedule.

After Wells connected in the ninth, his dad, who regularly attends games at Rangers Ballpark, could be seen with a huge smile on his face.

"He did a lot of cussing at the TV last year; he gets a lot more upset than I do when I struggle," Wells said. "I'm glad he has a smile on his face right now."

Kevin Gregg followed Tallet with 1 1/3 perfect innings before Frasor, who gave up two runs in the ninth inning of Toronto's 5-4 loss on Monday, worked around a leadoff double in the ninth to pick up the save.

Harden, who can make as much as $9 million with the free-agent deal he signed over the winter, walked five.

After Harden walked the game's first batter, he struck out five of the next six until Gonzalez led off the third with a 409-foot home run to left-center.

Nippert walked four in 2 2/3 innings, including Wells in the seventh when Toronto produced a run with two walks, a hit batter and a sacrifice fly by Edwin Encarnacion.

"We walked 10 and hit two, you're not going to win many games doing that," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "Vernon Wells shows up again. His bat speed looked like it was back so he must be back from the wrist injury."


It was Wells' 19th career multihomer game, his first in Arlington. ... Washington says "it'd be a miracle" for 2B Ian Kinsler to play in the season-opening, six-game homestand. Kinsler is on the disabled list for an ankle injury. He has hit, but isn't taking grounders yet. ... Toronto had two errors on one play in the seventh, right fielder Jose Bautista's bobble and shortstop Gonzalez's bad throw after the relay to put runners on second and third. That led to an unearned run when Julio Borbon grounded out.

Copyright 2017 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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Players of the Game

V. Wells
AB 3
R 4
H 2
HR 2

V. Guerrero
AB 4
R 1
H 2
HR 1

Related Video

Toronto Blue Jays
Jose Bautista, RF3001212 .000
Aaron Hill, 2B4000115 .125
Adam Lind, DH4100123 .429
Vernon Wells, CF3423101 .714
Lyle Overbay, 1B3100210 .000
John Buck, C4010032 .125
Edwin Encarnacion, 3B3001110 .000
Alex Gonzalez, SS5111017 .222
Travis Snider, LF3011202 .143
2B - John Buck (1, Ray), Travis Snider (1, O'Day)
HR - Vernon Wells 2 (3, Nippert, Oliver), Alex Gonzalez (1, Harden)
SF - Edwin Encarnacion (1)
RBI - Jose Bautista (1), Vernon Wells 3 (6), Edwin Encarnacion (1), Alex Gonzalez (1), Travis Snider (1)
2-OUT RBI - Jose Bautista (1), Travis Snider (1)
Team LOB - 11
E - Jose Bautista (1, Misplayed grounder), Edwin Encarnacion (2, Misplayed grounder), Alex Gonzalez (1, Throwing)
Toronto Blue Jays
Brian Tallet (W,1-0) 6.2442362 2.70
Kevin Gregg (H,1) 1.1000010 0.00
Jason Frasor (S,1) 1100020 13.50
Pitches-Strikes - Brian Tallet 93-56, Kevin Gregg 15-11, Jason Frasor 16-11
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brian Tallet 6-9, Kevin Gregg 2-1, Jason Frasor 1-0
Batters Faced - Brian Tallet 28, Kevin Gregg 4, Jason Frasor 4
Texas Rangers
Julio Borbon, CF4001000 .000
Michael Young, 3B3100101 .143
Josh Hamilton, LF4000041 .000
Vladimir Guerrero, DH4121000 .571
Nelson Cruz, RF3111100 .429
Chris Davis, 1B4010013 .143
Joaquin Arias, 2B3000000 .000
   a- David Murphy, PH1000011 .000
Taylor Teagarden, C2100110 .000
   b- Jarrod Saltalamacchia, PH1000011 .200
Elvis Andrus, SS4010011 .143
a-struck out for Arias in the 9th
b-struck out for Teagarden in the 9th
2B - Chris Davis (1, Frasor)
HR - Vladimir Guerrero (1, Tallet), Nelson Cruz (2, Tallet)
RBI - Julio Borbon (1), Vladimir Guerrero (1), Nelson Cruz (5)
Team LOB - 5
E - Michael Young (1, Misplayed grounder)
Texas Rangers
Rich Harden 3.2131581 2.45
Dustin Nippert (L,0-1) 2.2133421 10.13
Darren O'Day 1.1100000 0.00
Darren Oliver 0.2111001 6.75
Chris Ray 0.2100100 0.00
HBP - V. Wells (by Rich Harden), Buck (by Darren O'Day)
Pitches-Strikes - Rich Harden 89-51, Dustin Nippert 46-22, Darren O'Day 19-12, Darren Oliver 13-8, Chris Ray 8-4
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Rich Harden 1-3, Dustin Nippert 3-3, Darren O'Day 1-3, Darren Oliver 1-1, Chris Ray 1-1
Batters Faced - Rich Harden 19, Dustin Nippert 13, Darren O'Day 6, Darren Oliver 3, Chris Ray 4
Game Information
Attendance - 22890
Game Time - 2:56
Temperature - 67
Umpires - Home - Brian Knight, First Base - Greg Gibson, Second Base - Scott Barry, Third Base - Gerry Davis