Three homers by Rangers help beat Blue JaysApr 28, 2007 - 5:55 AM TORONTO (Ticker) -- After a recent skid, the Texas Rangers used one burst to take out their frustrations.
Brad Wilkerson, Mark Teixeira and Sammy Sosa each homered in the third inning as the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-3, snapping a three-game losing streak.
Rangers starter Robinson Tejeda allowed three runs, five hits and a walk in 5 1/3 innings while striking out a season-high seven to improve to 3-1 in 2007. The 24-year old righthander threw 69 of 100 pitches for strikes.
"(Tejeda) had good stuff," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "We feel this kid's got the stuff to be a pretty good starter in the major leagues. If he continues to progress the way he is, he's going to move out of that fourth slot (in the rotation) and start pushing up towards the top."
Frank Francisco relieved Tejeda and worked 1 2/3 innings before Joaquin Benoit pitched the eighth inning. Akinori Otsuka struck out the side in the ninth for his third save in as many attempts. Rangers pitchers struck out 14 Blue Jays.
Toronto starter Josh Towers started the contest on a mission, striking out the first four batters he faced. In fact 11 of his first 12 pitches were strikes as he retired the first six men he opposed.
However, in the top of the third inning Texas struck quickly. Ian Kinsler led off with a single just over the outstretched glove of second baseman Aaron Hill before Wilkerson drove a low offspeed offering from Towers over the center field wall to give the Rangers a 2-0 lead.
"We needed to do something to shake (Towers) up," Wilkerson said. "To get a lead early and give Robinson a chance to attack the strike zone was good. He did a great job tonight."
Three batters later, Michael Young doubled into the right-center field gap, bringing Teixeira to the plate. On an 0-2 pitch, Teixeira hit an opposite field homer to left field. Sosa followed on the next pitch with a drive deep over the center field wall for his seventh homer of the season.
"This game is all about adjustments," said Sosa, who had been 0-for-10 career against Towers. "Towers has always pitched me great, but I was able to go to the plate, make an adjustment and fight for my at-bat. I try to make each swing count and contribute to the team."
Wilkerson's homer was his third of the season while Teixeira's drive was his first home run since September 30, 2006 when he went deep off Seattle ace Felix Hernandez.
"I know I haven't been swinging the bat like I should be," Teixeira said. "I knew it was going to come around eventually. (Towers) made five pitches in a row to me exactly where he wanted to throw them. Then the sixth pitch he threw to me didn't hit his spot."
Sosa's 595th career homer was his third in his last five at-bats. The veteran slugger hit two against the Cleveland Indians at Jacobs Field on Thursday. The 38-year old from San Pedro de Macoris, Dominican Republic is just five round-trippers away from becoming the fifth player to reach the 600-homer mark.
"It's not about individual numbers, it's about the team," Sosa said. "I feel I can still play this game and my numbers are going to be there in the end."
The home runs by Teixeira and Sosa also were the first time Texas has hit back-to-back blasts in 2007.
Towers (1-3) surrendered five runs and five hits in 4 2/3 innings. The righthander, who struck out seven and fell to 0-4 lifetime vs. Texas, has an 8.16 ERA in his career vs. the Rangers, including 11 home runs.
"It didn't matter who was hitting," Towers said. "If you're going to pitch it down the middle they're going to hit it. In those kind of situations I just didn't get the ball in where it was supposed to be."
Lyle Overbay led off the fifth inning with his second homer of the season and rookie Adam Lind hit his first major-league homer with one on in the sixth for the Blue Jays, who had a three-game winning streak snapped.
"We've got to do a better job than that," Overbay said. "Their pitchers were getting ahead in the count. For me personally, I fouled some pitches off that I should have hit hard."
Toronto outfielder Vernon Wells, who entered with a hit in nine of his last 12 at-bats, went 0-for-3 with two strikeouts.
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
- - - - - - - - - - - -
TEXAS 0 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0 5 9 0
TORONTO 0 0 0 0 1 2 0 0 0 3 5 1 (FINAL)
BATTERIES: TEX - ROBINSON TEJEDA, FRANK FRANCISCO (6TH), JOAQUIN BENOIT (8TH),
AKINORI OTSUKA (9TH) AND CHRIS STEWART
TOR - JOSH TOWERS, BRIAN TALLET (5TH), CASEY JANSSEN
Apr 27 9:50 PM
AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY ADAM LIND (1) TO RIGHT WITH 0 OUT IN
THE 6TH OFF ROBINSON TEJEDA SCORED ALEX RIOS.
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5, TORONTO 3
DUE UP FOR TORONTO: V WELLS (.310, 0-FOR-2)
Rangers vs. Blue JaysApr 27 8:44 PM
AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
SOLO HOME RUN BY SAMMY SOSA (7) TO CENTER WITH 2 OUT IN THE
3RD OFF JOSH TOWERS.
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 5, TORONTO 0
DUE UP FOR TEXAS: H BLALOCK (.253, 0-FOR-1)
Rangers vs. Blue JaysApr 27 7:47 PM
AT TORONTO - SCORING UPDATE
TWO-RUN HOME RUN BY BRAD WILKERSON (3) TO CENTER WITH 0 OUT
IN THE 3RD OFF JOSH TOWERS SCORED IAN KINSLER.
CURRENT SCORE: TEXAS 2, TORONTO 0
DUE UP FOR TEXAS: C STEWART (.300, 0 HR, 2 RBI)
Rangers vs. Blue JaysApr 27 7:40 PM
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