Rangers 7, Blue Jays 6
Teixeira’s two-run homer in the eighth gave Texas a 7-6 lead Sunday, and Cordero struck out three batters in the ninth for his team-record 44th save to complete the three-game sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays.
“He’s been amazing. He’s been our team MVP all year,” Teixeira said. “Every time we need him to step up and get the big save, he does it.”
Teixeira made sure Cordero was needed by hitting his fourth homer in the series, and 34th of the season.
Teixeira matched a team record in July by homering in five straight games but hadn’t homered in 18 games before the Toronto series. Still, he’s hitting .370 (34-of-92) in the past 25 games.
“He’s come on like a gang of fire just when we need him,” manager Buck Showalter said.
Texas, in its last game against a team outside the AL West, won for just the fifth time in 14 games. The Rangers, which began the day five games behind AL West-leading Oakland, open a 20-game stretch against division rivals Monday at the first-place Athletics.
“We need to win every game we can,” Teixeira said. “We’re just going to keep playing the way we have all year, and hopefully the best will happen.”
Cordero broke John Wetteland’s team record of 43 saves in 1999, the last time the Rangers won the AL West and made it to the playoffs. The right-hander has just three blown saves, was an All-Star and set another team record earlier this season by converting 21 straight chances.
“This is something very special … being able to be where I’m at today with 44 saves and still 20 games left,” he said. “I’ve worked really hard to maintain my job because it’s always been my dream job. Now that I have it, I don’t want to blow it away.”
Doug Brocail (3-1), the fifth Texas pitcher, faced only one hitter, but got the win with a strikeout-caught stealing double play to end the eighth.
Pinch-hitter Alexis Rios took a called third strike on a full-count pitch, and Carlos Delgado was thrown out going to third. Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, who like Rios thought the pitch was high, was ejected after arguing the call.
“It was not a hittable pitch,” Rios said.
“I made a little hand gesture from the dugout, and was told you can’t argue balls and strikes,” Gibbons said. “That’s a big part of the game with a one-run lead.”
Teixeira hit a three-run homer in the first for the second game in a row. But Park, in his fourth start since spending 98 days on the disabled list, gave up six runs and eight hits in 4 2-3 innings.
Delgado led off the second with his 29th homer, a 426-foot shot into the second deck in right. It was his 19th career homer in Texas, more than he has in any other opposing stadium.
His double in the fifth, a liner that one-hopped the wall, gave the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead and chased Park. Delgado finished 3-for-4, adding a bloop single that got him on in the eighth.
After Delgado’s homer in the second, the Blue Jays had four straight two-out hits that drove in runs. Eric Cozier and Russ Adams, the bottom two hitters in the lineup, had consecutive RBI doubles before Reed Johnson’s single and Orlando Hudson doubled.
Vernon Wells had a two-out single in the fifth before scoring on Delgado’s double. But the Blue Jays didn’t score again.
Toronto starter Dave Bush allowed five runs—four earned—and six hits in seven innings.
Hank Blalock led off the sixth with a single and scored on Kevin Mench’s two-out double to get Texas to 6-4. Laynce Nix reached on a one-out error by shortstop Adams in the seventh and scored on Alfonso Soriano’s double.
Young finished 3-for-4, his third multihit game of the series and 63rd of the season. He has 191 hits and 100 runs scored.
LHP Michael Tejera replaced Park and struck out his first four batters. He left after Adams grounded out to start the seventh. … Tejera became the 28th pitcher used this season by Texas, a club record. … Toronto dropped to 24-47 on the road.