ARLINGTON -- The Rangers exploded for four home runs -- including two from Carlos Gomez -- and jumped out to an early lead they never relinquished in an 11-4 win over the Blue Jays in the series finale on Thursday at Globe Life Park.Texas hung seven earned runs in four
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers exploded for four home runs -- including two from Carlos Gomez -- and jumped out to an early lead they never relinquished in an 11-4 win over the Blue Jays in the series finale on Thursday at Globe Life Park.
Texas hung seven earned runs in four innings on Toronto starter Marcus Stroman, the most Stroman has allowed in his career. He allowed runs in each of the first four innings and tied his career high of three home runs allowed. Of the Rangers' 11 hits, seven of them went for extra bases.
"Just didn't have a good feel for my pitches out there," said Stroman, whose team dropped to 0-9 in games when trying to reach .500 this season. "Everything didn't feel like it was necessarily coming out the same. Not really worried about it. Just didn't have a good feel for my sinker, and all of my other pitches kind of play off that. Just make some adjustments during the week and get back out there on Wednesday."
Gomez, along with Mike Napoli and Robinson Chirinos, went deep to even the Rangers' record back up at 36-36 and give them some momentum as Texas embarks on a 10-game road trip. Martin Perez worked six innings and allowed four runs (three earned) on nine hits, earning back-to-back wins.
"I think part of that is getting our guys back in the mix, Adrian [Beltre] back, Gomez back, Napoli back, those guys that we send out there every day, we feel confident in the offense," Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. "We'll have [Cole] Hamels back soon, we'll have [Andrew] Cashner back soon, we have [Tyson] Ross back. ... We know what's out in front of us, and it is now. It comes down to winning single games, winning series, stacking wins together. It's about staying focused on one, and then the next. Let the rest take care of itself."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Napoli breaks it open: After taking a 1-0 lead in the first inning, Napoli gave the Rangers a 3-0 lead in the second with a two-run homer to right field, bringing home Gomez. That was Napoli's 21st homer against the Blue Jays, breaking a tie with the Angels for his third-most against any team.
Gomez stays hot: Gomez entered Thursday's game with a nine-game hit streak, batting .394 in those games, and he extended that to 10 with a single to lead off the second inning. He launched a three-run homer off the left-field foul pole in the third inning for his eighth home run of the year and connected on a two-run shot in the seventh, giving Gomez hits in all six games -- and homers in four of them -- since returning from the DL on June 15.
"Well, what we saw was eagerness," Banister said. "He continued to work the entire time he was on the disabled list. He was in a really good place swinging the bat very well, locked in, doing a ton of work with [assistant hitting coach Justin] Mashore and [hitting coach Anthony] Iapoce with the swing, trying to stay engaged with his swing while he was on the disabled list."
Blue Jays come roaring back: Despite falling in a 7-0 hole, Toronto didn't roll over. The Blue Jays scratched four runs across in the fifth inning to cut the Rangers' lead to 7-4. After a double play erased a leadoff single, the Blue Jays went HBP, double, walk, single, walk and single to erase over half the deficit against Perez.
"Not really. I had time more to enjoy it. More important is that we tied that series, and now we go to New York and keep it up." -- Gomez, on his first home run, and whether he was mad at Beltre for not rounding the bases quickly in front of him
"If it was a team that never won big games and hadn't experienced them, I might look at it differently. We just haven't been able to get over that hump yet. But we will." -- Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, on his team being outscored 73-24 in games that would have gotten them to .500 this season
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Stroman's outing marked the 21st time this season that a Blue Jays starter was unable to complete at least five innings. That's the highest in the Major Leagues, and it follows a season in which it happened to Toronto just 13 times. In 2016, the Blue Jays' rotation had a 3.64 ERA; this season, it's 4.78.
"Tough day for Stro," Gibbons said. "He left some pitches up. Hung a couple, and they made him pay. But it's been a battle trying to get back to that .500 mark. The tough part, the disappointing part, is it seems like we get knocked around pretty good on that day. But I guess our starters, we took our lumps this series, and came away with two wins, if there's anything good out of that."
Blue Jays: Left-hander J.A. Happ (2-4, 4.26 ERA) will take the mound when the Blue Jays open a three-game series in Kansas City on Friday night with first pitch scheduled for 8:15 p.m. ET on MLB.TV. Happ will be making his fifth outing since coming off the DL, and each of his past two have been quality starts with a total of three earned runs over those 12 2/3 innings.
Rangers: Right-hander Yu Darvish (6-5, 3.35 ERA) faces off against Masahiro Tanaka when the Rangers travel to New York to open a three-game set with the Yankees on Friday at 6:05 p.m. CT on MLB.TV. Darvish and Tanaka squared off four times while playing in Japan for Hokkaido and Tohoku, respectively, with Darvish going 2-1 in those games with a 1.36 ERA.
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Sam Butler is a reporter for MLB.com based in Arlington.
Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue Jays for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.