(Sports Network) – Ian Kinsler and Jeff Francoeur ignited the Texas offense, helping the American League West-leading Rangers snap a series of streaks with an 8-1 win over Toronto.
Kinsler homered to begin the game and Francoeur went 3-for-4, including an RBI single in the first inning.
Derek Holland (3-3) scattered three hits and equaled a season high with eight strikeouts over five scoreless frames. It was a far cry from his only previous start against Toronto, on August 31, 2009, in which he allowed a career-worst 10 runs.
Not only did the Rangers avoid matching a season high with a sixth straight loss, the club halted a seven-game losing streak to the Blue Jays, a seven- game skid in Toronto and recorded its first win on an artificial surface this season. Texas had gone 0-5 at Rogers Centre and was winless in three games at Tropicana Field.
The Rangers, who will look to salvage a split of this four-game set on Thursday, moved 7 1/2 games ahead of second-place Oakland in the division standings.
Marc Rzepczynski (1-4), throwing on three days’ rest for the first time in his young career, gave up three runs on seven hits and walked three in five innings for the Blue Jays.
Michael Young followed Kinsler’s blast with a walk, and consecutive one-out singles by Vladimir Guerrero and Francoeur produced a second first-inning run.
Young added a run-scoring single in the fifth to extend Texas’ lead to 3-0. The base hit plated Kinsler, who led off with a single, stole second and took third on catcher Jose Molina’s throwing error.
The Rangers picked up an unearned run in the sixth. With one out in the inning and runners on first and second, Bengie Molina hit a chopper to first baseman Adam Lind, who fired to second for the force out. However, an errant toss from shortstop Yunel Escobar couldn’t be snagged by reliever Brian Tallet, covering first on the play, and Francoeur was able to score.
Bengie Molina singled home David Murphy in the eighth to make it 5-0. Bengie’s younger brother, Jose, homered off Texas reliever Darren O’Day in the bottom of the inning to put Toronto on the board.
Nelson Cruz provided some insurance for the Rangers with a two-run homer off David Purcey in the ninth. Purcey also yielded an RBI single to Murphy later in the frame.
The Blue Jays have homered in 10 straight games, recording 21 during that span, and lead the majors with 216 this season…Cruz also had three hits.