If the Toronto Blue Jays believed Mark Rzepczynski could pitch on three days’ rest, they were given a rude awakening courtesy of the Texas Rangers on Wednesday night.
The Jays’ left hander threw five innings, giving up seven hits and three earned runs, to go along with three walks, as the Rangers defeated the Toronto Blue Jays, 8-1.
That victory ended Toronto’s dominance of the season series, halting a seven-game win streak for the home team.
Derek Holland (3-3, 4.31) pitched a masterful game, throwing five strong innings, giving up three hits and no earned runs to go along with eight strikeouts.
He utilized his change up with pinpoint precision to stymie the Jays’ offence, limited it to just five hits.
Coming into the game against Toronto, the Rangers’ left hander had lost his past three decisions, and had a career record of 0-1 with a 16.88 ERA in two games versus the Jays, but quickly silenced his critics after the first inning.
The Rangers’ bats were also strong as six players registered multiple hit games. Ian Kinsler went 2-for-5 with a lead-off home run, and Nelson Cruz went 3-for-5 with a two-run home run in the ninth inning.
Jeff Francoeur, Michael Young, David Murphy and Bengie Molina also collected RBIs.
Jose Molina accounted for the only Jays’ run, smashing his fifth long ball of the season, and extending Toronto’s streak of games with at least one home run to 10.
Rzepczynski (1-4, 6.47), who was victimized by the Rangers’ bats, has now gone 0-3 in his last five starts, and his struggles began as soon as he saw Kinsler step into the batter’s box to lead off the game.
Kinsler welcomed the 25-year-old to the game by turning on the fifth pitch he saw and smashing it into the left field bleachers to give his team an early 1-0 lead.
The California native then walked Young, gave up a base hit to Guerrero, and an RBI single to Francoeur to score the third baseman and open up an early 2-0 lead.
The Jays did not register their first base hit until the third inning when Yunel Escobar picked on the first pitch he saw and shot a sharp ground ball up the middle.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Molina’s arm let him down as his second throwing error of the season allowed Kinsler to advance to third base after he had stolen second.
Young took advantage of the error, singling to right field to give the Rangers a 3-0 lead.
The Jays’ catcher made up for his defensive miscue by leading off the eighth inning with a solo home run off of Darren O’Day for Toronto’s only run of the game.
Bullpen also struggles
Brian Tallet took over in the sixth, and picked up where the starter left off, promptly surrendering Francoeur’s third hit of the game to lead the inning off.
He then walked Jorge Cantu two batters later. The right fielder then came around to score on a fielder’s choice and a throwing error by Escobar, increasing the visitors’ lead to 4-0.
The Jays’ bullpen was put to plenty of use, as Josh Roenicke took over for Casey Janssen in the eighth.
Bengie Molina took advantage of Roenicke’s arm, lacing a base hit to right field to score David Murphy and increase the lead to 5-0.
David Purcey’s ninth inning was less than stellar, as he allowed three runs including a home run by Cruz.
Jose Baustista’s consecutive games streak came to an end at 19.