Toronto’s power surge continues to be too much for the struggling Texas Rangers to handle.
With another opportunity to pad their major league-leading home run total Wednesday night, the Blue Jays try for an eighth consecutive victory over the AL West-leading Rangers, who have lost five row overall.
“It seems like every time we get a ball up in the zone against these guys, they don’t miss it,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
The Blue Jays have homered in nine straight games, recording 20 during that span. They’ve hit at least three home runs in a game 33 times, the most in the majors.
Wells is 6 for 11 with four homers and eight RBIs in his last three games. The veteran outfielder has gone 13 for 29 and hit eight of his 27 home runs against the Rangers in 2010.
“I’ve got some people upset at home,” said Wells, who lives near Arlington, Texas in the offseason.
Though Texas (75-63) has lost nine of 12 and will try to avoid matching a season high with a sixth straight loss, it still holds a sizable lead in the West.
Rangers pitchers have an 8.33 ERA during their five-game skid, and an 8.49 ERA while losing seven straight at Toronto.
The Blue Jays roughed up scheduled starter Derek Holland(notes) (2-3, 4.93 ERA) when he allowed a career-high 10 runs in three innings of an 18-10 loss in his only previous start against Toronto on Aug. 31, 2009.
Averaging 3.8 runs over the last five games, Texas likely will be without injured All-Stars Josh Hamilton(notes) (bruised ribs) and Elvis Andrus(notes) (hamstring) for the final two of this four-game set.
Vladimir Guerrero(notes) hit a two-run homer and Andres Blanco(notes) drove in three runs Tuesday for Texas, but Ian Kinsler(notes) and Michael Young(notes) each went 0 for 5. Kinsler is 1 for 10 in the series, and 3 for 17 versus Toronto this season.
Kinsler, however, is 2 for 3 with a homer against Marc Rzepczynski(notes) (1-3, 6.62), who takes the ball for the Blue Jays. He surrendered five runs and three walks in four innings, but didn’t get a decision in a 7-5 loss at Yankee Stadium on Saturday.
The left-hander has yielded 15 walks in 17 innings while going 0-2 with a 9.00 ERA in four starts since beating the Los Angeles Angels on Aug. 13.
“You can’t walk guys,” manager Cito Gaston told the Blue Jays’ official website. “That’s what he’s doing. He’s not going out there getting three outs.”
Rzepczynski allowed three runs and struck out nine in six innings of a 5-2 loss in his only start versus Texas on Sept. 1, 2009.