(Friday, May 25th)
Final Score: Texas 14, Toronto 3
Arlington, TX (Sports Network) - Nelson Cruz finished 4-for-5 with a grand slam and matched a career-high with eight RBI to pace an explosive offensive night for the Texas Rangers as they pounded the Toronto Blue Jays, 14-3, in the opener of a three-game set.
"Some guys work hard to get to get that many RBI in one month," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "(Cruz) did it in one night."
Adrian Beltre had three hits, including a two-run single as part of a six-run first inning. Mitch Moreland added two RBI while Yorvit Torrealba and Josh Hamilton blasted solo home runs for the Rangers, who pounded out 18 hits as a team and got back on the winning track after dropping two of three to Seattle.
Derek Holland (4-3) allowed just two runs on five hits and a walk while fanning nine over 7 1/3 innings. Mark Lowe and Yoshinori Tateyama finished off the rout for Texas.
Edwin Encarnacion smacked a homer and Jose Bautista added a two-run single for the Blue Jays, who have lost three straight and four of five.
Brandon Morrow (5-3) didn't make it out of the first inning, as he was tagged for six runs on five hits and three walks in just two-thirds of an inning. Blue Jays catcher Jeff Mathis came on to pitch in the eighth and fared better than Morrow by making it through the inning.
"This is very uncharacteristic of any of the starts he has had through the season so far," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said of Morrow. "I'd like to think this is the aberration."
Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus worked consecutive walks to start the first inning and both men scored on a one-out single into right by Beltre. Michael Young followed with a base hit, David Murphy walked to load the bases and Cruz brought everybody home with a double over the head of center fielder Colby Rasmus to make it 5-0 Texas. After Torrealba grounded out, Moreland capped the scoring with a base hit up the middle to bring home Cruz.
Hamilton added to the Rangers' big lead in the second when he got a hanging curveball from Toronto reliever Carlos Villanueva and pulverized it into the second deck in right field to make it 7-0.
Torrealba made it 8-0 for the Rangers in the third when he waited back and turned on a changeup from Villanueva and crushed it into left field seats.
Toronto got on the board in the sixth after Encarnacion launched one into the seats in left to make it 8-1, but the Rangers continued their offensive onslaught in the bottom half, adding two more runs.
Hamilton walked to begin the frame and Young singled two batters later before Cruz smacked an RBI single up the middle and, after a base hit by Torrealba, Moreland followed with a single to score Young for the nine-run cushion.
Jason Frasor began the seventh on the mound for the Blue Jays and got Andrus and pinch-hitter Craig Gentry to ground out, but then got into trouble. He allowed base hits to Beltre and Young and walked Murphy to load the bases. Cruz followed and belted an 0-1 fastball into the upper deck in right-center field to make it 14-1.
Bautista capped the scoring in the eighth when he poked a two-run single up the middle to score Rajai Davis and Yunel Escobar.
The Rangers improved to 12-9 at home this season and 11-5 in series openers...Morrow had been 3-0 in his first four road starts of the season...Cruz's other 8-RBI game occurred on July 27, 2011, also against the Blue Jays...It was the 14th sellout of the season for Texas...Texas finished 7-for-18 with runners in scoring position and stranded 11, while the Blue Jays were 1-for-2 with men in scoring position and left five on the base paths...Hamilton left the game in the seventh inning due to a head cold.
05/26 03:37:28 ET