Menu

BASEBALL

Wells homers again to helps Blue Jays beat Rangers

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Vernon Wells hit his fourth homer in three games and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for three runs in the ninth against closer Frank Francisco to beat the Texas Rangers 3-1 on Thursday.

Rangers starter C.J. Wilson struck out nine and allowed five hits over seven innings in his return to the rotation, but Francisco (0-1) failed in his first save opportunity of the season.

Francisco gave up a leadoff homer to Wells, Lyle Overbay followed with a triple and Overbay made it 2-1 when he scored on Edwin Encarnacion's sacrifice fly.

Rookie Mike McCoy added an RBI single to make it 3-1 and chase Francisco, who gave up three runs and four hits while getting only two outs.

Wells, a native of Arlington, became the first Blue Jays player to homer in each of the first three games of the season.

Casey Janssen (1-0) struck out the side in the eighth, and Jason Frasor got three outs for his second save in three chances as the Blue Jays took two of three from the Rangers.

Wilson moved into the rotation this spring after pitching out of the bullpen the last four seasons. Wilson got six starts in 2005, going 0-5 with a 12.05 ERA and an opponents' batting average of .441.

This time, he was a lot better, working out of jams in the fifth and sixth and recording his longest career start.

Wilson and Toronto starter Ricky Romero matched six shutout innings before the Rangers broke through in the seventh when David Murphy doubled, went to third on Taylor Teagarden's groundout, and scored on Romero's wild pitch.

Romero allowed one run and five hits over seven innings, striking out four and walking two.

Vladimir Guerrero went 3 for 4 for Texas, making him 7 for 11 (.636) this season.

Earlier Thursday, the Rangers placed No. 1 catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia on the 15-day disabled list because of left upper back stiffness.

Texas manager Ron Washington said Saltalamacchia hurt his back during Monday's season opener against Toronto, but Saltalamacchia tried to play through the discomfort.

Saltalamacchia had an MRI on Thursday and was scheduled to be examined by a back specialist later in the day to determine the severity of the injury.

Teagarden becomes the everyday catcher, and Texas purchased the contract of Matt Treanor from Triple-A Oklahoma City to back up Teagarden.

About an hour before the first pitch, second baseman Aaron Hill was scratched from Toronto's starting lineup with right hamstring tightness. McCoy started in place of Hill, and McCoy led off the game with a single for his first big league hit.

NOTES: To make room on the 40-man roster for Treanor, the Rangers transferred RHP Warner Madrigal from the 15- to the 60-day disabled list due to right forearm inflammation. ... Texas LF Josh Hamilton didn't start after going hitless in seven at-bats, striking out in five straight plate appearances, before walking as a pinch-hitter in the seventh. "He was out of whack," Washington said. ... 1B Ryan Garko got his first start for Texas. ... Encarnacion singled in the fifth after starting the season 0 for 7.