Rangers 11, Blue Jays 4
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)—Even when he’s slumping, Michael Young never changes his approach at the plate. That’s a trait that has made him one of the most consistent hitters in the AL.
Now the Texas Rangers are starting to see better results from the 2005 AL batting champion and three-time All-Star.
Young homered and had five RBIs, including a two-run double that keyed a six-run third inning off Toronto ace Roy Halladay, and the Rangers extended the Blue Jays’ losing streak to five games with an 11-4 victory Saturday night.
At the start of the night, Young, a .300 career hitter at the start of the season, was batting .210. On April 22, his average had sunk to .162.
But he was 3-for-5 on Saturday and is 6-for-9 in his last two games.
“It’s always good to see results because it benefits the team,” Young said. “It’s nice to go out there and score some runs and put some points on the board. Hopefully we can make this last and remain confident as a team.”
Young wasn’t the only slumping Ranger. Texas has been near the bottom of the AL in team batting average all season. The Rangers managed only 10 runs during a five-game losing streak before breaking out for 18 runs in their last two games, both wins over the Blue Jays.
“I’m happy to see us swing the bats and get some hits,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said. “That’s been the forte here up and down the lineup. Maybe our luck is changing.”
The Rangers didn’t figure to have a breakout game against Halladay, who pitched a five-hitter against Texas on Monday.
But Halladay (4-1) wasn’t the same pitcher in Texas, giving up nine runs and 12 hits in 5 1-3 innings. He struck out three and walked two. He had lasted at least six innings in each of his first six starts.
“You don’t see that too often,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said. “Sometimes you forget the guy’s human. All that means is he’s not going to go undefeated this season. We’ll still take our chances every time he goes out there.”
It was Halladay’s first loss since Aug. 31 against Boston.
The Blue Jays continued their struggles in Arlington, having won only three times in their last 18 games there.
“It’s nothing you can think about,” Halladay said. “If anything, it’s about the guys they have in their lineup, just if they get hot, it’s a tough team to face.”
Rangers starter Vicente Padilla (1-4) allowed two runs and six hits in seven innings to win for the first time since last Sept. 23 over Cleveland. He struck out three and walked one. Padilla, who had only 10 runs scored for him in his first six starts, appreciated the early pad.
“I haven’t been supported like that in a while so it gave me more trust,” Padilla said through an interpreter.
Frank Thomas’ first-inning RBI double gave Toronto a 1-0 lead, and Halladay got off to a strong start, striking out the first two batters he faced and retiring the first seven.
But he ran into trouble in the third when Texas sent 11 to the plate and got five straight hits.
Kenny Lofton drove in Kata from third with a single for the Rangers’ first run, and Young followed with his two-run double just inside the third-base foul line.
Young’s RBI single in the sixth gave the Rangers a 7-1 advantage and knocked out Halladay. He fell two short of his career high for runs allowed and matched the most hits he’s given up in his career.
Teixeira’s two-run double off reliever Josh Towers later in the sixth made it 9-1.
Kata’s two-out throwing error at second base in the seventh allowed Lyle Overbay to score from third for Toronto’s second run.
Young’s two-run homer—his third of the season—stretched Texas’ lead to 11-2 in the eighth.
Overbay hit a two-run homer in the ninth off Ron Mahay to make it 11-4.
Rangers 2B Ian Kinsler, the team leader in homers (nine) and RBIs (24), got the night off, replaced by Kata. … Toronto CF Vernon Wells was back in the lineup after missing two games with flulike symptoms. … Halladay remains one win short of his 100th career victory. … RHP Wes Littleton, called up from Triple-A Oklahoma earlier in the day, came on in relief to start the eighth in his first appearance of the season for Texas.