“Those innings they got out of Janssen was the turning point,” Texas manager Ron Washington said.
It was the longest relief appearance of Janssen’s career.
“We didn’t know what it was going to take to win the game but it started with a zero,” Janssen said. “It was one of those things where a team could get momentum on the defensive side first and we were able to do that.”
Strong, gusting winds made life miserable for pitchers on both sides, affecting balls to the plate and drives to the outfield.
“When you’re throwing into that kind of wind, the seams start to take a little bit more effect,” Janssen said. “You sinker sinks a little bit more, your curveball and changeup, they hit the wind and they either get knocked down or sometimes they flutter. One time you might throw a really good one and the next time it might be more of a cement mixer.”
The Blue Jays pounded out 15 total hits and boosted their major league lead in home runs (57) and extra-base hits (162).
“They can swing it up and down the lineup,” Washington said. “They showed that tonight.”
Toronto reliever Josh Roenicke(notes) (1-0) worked 1 1-3 innings for his first major league win while Rangers right-hander Doug Mathis(notes) (1-1) took the loss, allowing eight runs in 1 1-3 innings.
Overbay went 3 for 3 with two walks and three RBIs for the Blue Jays, who rallied from an early 9-3 deficit.
Staked to a 3-0 lead before he even took the mound, Texas starter Rich Harden(notes) helped Toronto get back in it by walking the bases loaded on 14 pitches, then giving up an RBI grounder to Wells and a two-run double to Overbay.
Harden allowed seven runs and four hits in 2 2-3 innings and walked six, one shy of his career high. The right-hander described his performance as “embarrassing” and “frustrating.”
“It was ugly,” Harden said. “I just couldn’t make my pitches. I was missing up and missing a lot. It’s not good.”
Texas chased Blue Jays starter Brett Cecil(notes) with a five-run second. Max Ramirez(notes) led off with a homer, his second, Vladimir Guerrero(notes) hit an RBI single and Nelson Cruz(notes) added a three-run double.
Michael Young’s(notes) infield single in the third gave Texas a 9-3 lead, but Toronto took the lead by sending 11 men to the plate and scoring eight runs in the bottom half, for their biggest inning of the season. Seven of the eight runs came with two outs.
Overbay hit a one-out solo homer, his third, and Snider sent Harden to the showers with a three-run blast to right. Fred Lewis(notes) singled off Mathis, went to second when Hill walked and scored when Adam Lind beat out a slow roller to first. Wells followed with a three-run homer to left, his 10th.
Ramirez pulled Texas to within a run with a sacrifice fly in the fourth, but Toronto padded its lead with four runs in the bottom half. Hill hit a three-run homer to left, his third, and Lind followed with a drive to center, his sixth. It’s the fourth time this season the Blue Jays have hit back-to-back home runs.
The Rangers, who used five relievers in Thursday’s 12-inning win, needed 5 1-3 innings from the bullpen in this one and may require reinforcements.
“We haven’t decided yet but we definitely have to talk about some options,” Washington said.
Cruz came off the 15-day disabled list to drive in four runs for the Rangers and Vladimir Guerrero went 3 for 4 with three RBIs.
Alex Gonzalez made it 16-10 with an RBI double in the seventh.
Cecil allowed eight runs and eight hits in two innings, raising his ERA from 3.12 to 5.46.
NOTES: Texas optioned 1B Ryan Garko(notes) to Triple-A Oklahoma City to make room for Cruz. … Hill returned to Toronto’s lineup after missing Wednesday’s game at Boston with a sore right hamstring, the same injury that sidelined him for 15 games earlier this season. … Every Blue Jays starter had at least one hit. … Snider homered in consecutive games for the first time in his career. … Harden is 0-3 in eight career starts against Toronto. He threw 43 pitches in the first. … Rangers SS Elvis Andrus(notes) extended his hitting streak to 14 games.