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Rangers Look For Split In Toronto

(Sports Network) - Colby Lewis tries to put the breaks on a personal seven- game losing streak this evening when the Texas Rangers conclude a four-game series against the Toronto Blue Jays at Rogers Centre.

Lewis hasn't won since July 16 and is 0-7 in his nine starts since with a 5.07 earned run average. His latest setback came on Saturday in Minnesota where he was pounded to the tune of nine runs and eight hits in just 3 2/3 innings. The loss dropped him to 9-12 on the year, while raising his ERA to 3.96.

The 31-year-old righty lost to the Blue Jays back on May 16 and is 1-3 lifetime against them with a 10.80 ERA in five games, four of which have been starts.

Texas got itself back into the win column on Wednesday, as Ian Kinsler and Jeff Francoeur ignited the offense, helping the American League West-leading Rangers snap a series of streaks with an 8-1 win.

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.

"I felt really good. I had command of all my pitches," Holland said. "The defense was making plays behind me and the offense was hitting the ball pretty well."

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 remained seven 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.

"For the most part, my stuff was good," Rzepczynski said. "I just overthrew a couple pitches."

Tonight Toronto will turn to the returning Shawn Hill, who is coming back from his second Tommy John surgery and is making his first big league start since April 2009.

Signed by the Blue Jays in January, Hill was 6-2 with a 1.61 ERA in 11 minor league starts this season.

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.