Rangers 10, Blue Jays 3
In 15 home appearances this season, Drese is 9-3 with a 2.67 ERA, the result of a sinker that induces groundballs and neutralizes power hitters.
“You know you’re going to get a good, quality start from him every time out,” Rangers catcher Rod Barajas said. “It’s a big sigh of relief when he’s out there.”
Drese (12-8) allowed one run and six hits, struck out a season-high seven and walked one. He lost a bid for his first shutout when he allowed Carlos Delgado’s solo homer in the seventh, but picked up his eighth win in 11 decisions.
“That’s as good as I’ve felt all year,” said Drese, who had 11 groundball outs. “I had all my pitches working and my mechanics were good. Tonight it was all about giving my team a chance to win.”
Mench provided the offense with some early power, hitting solo shots in the second and fourth innings to extend his career-best total to 23. He’s homered in his last three games and has four in 10 at-bats.
Staked to a 10-0 lead after five innings, Drese tried to guard against feeling too comfortable.
“Sometimes it’s tough to pitch with a big lead,” Drese said. “You try to be too fine. You’ve got to keep bearing down and go after guys.”
Mench and Mark Teixeira homered in a six-run fourth inning for the Rangers, who had lost nine of 11. Michael Young had four hits, and Barajas and Mench each added three hits for Texas, which took advantage of the Blue Jays club record-tying four wild pitches.
The Rangers took a 2-0 lead in the first against Miguel Batista (10-11) with the help of mistakes by two of the three September callups in the Toronto lineup.
Hank Blalock walked and scored on Young’s double. Young went to third when rookie shortstop Ross Adams’ relay throw to the plate was wild for an error. Young scored when Batista threw a wild pitch past rookie catcher Guillermo Quiroz, who was unable to block the ball.
Mench’s homer in the second made it 3-0. In the fourth, when the Rangers had six straight hits to tie their season high, Mench homered to extend the lead to 4-0.
Later in the fourth, Barajas scored from third on Batista’s third wild pitch of the game. Blalock added an RBI double and Young had a run-scoring single for a 7-0 advantage.
That chased Batista, and Teixeira greeted reliever Bob File with a two-run homer to make it 9-0.
Batista allowed eight runs and 10 hits over 3 1-3 innings.
Blalock’s RBI single in the fifth gave Texas a 10-0 lead. Dave Berg’s RBI groudout in the eighth got the Blue Jays to 10-2.
For the young Blue Jays, it was another learning experience.
“It just wasn’t our night, that’s all there is to it,” manager John Gibbons said. “(The Rangers) swing the bats. If you don’t make your pitches against them, they can hurt you in a hurry.”
Young had his 61st multihit game of the season, second in the AL behind Seattle’s Ichiro Suzuki, who began the night with 71. … Delgado has 18 homers at Ameriquest Field, his most in any road ballpark and the most by any Rangers opponent. … Umpire Mike Everitt was scheduled to be behind the plate, but Everett left the park before the game because his wife was in labor. Larry Young shifted from first base to call balls and strikes in a three-man crew. … With the win, the Rangers were assured of finishing at least third in the AL West after four straight last-place finishes.