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Rangers complete doubleheader sweep of Jays

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)

Josh Hamilton snapped out of his extended power drought with two home runs and Brandon McCarthy pitched into the seventh inning of his first start in nearly three months, leading the Texas Rangers past the Toronto Blue Jays 5-2 Tuesday night for a doubleheader sweep. Hamilton had gone 23 games and 99 at-bats since his previous homer Aug. 7 until a 435-foot drive over the Rangers' bullpen in right-center on the first pitch of the fourth. An inning later, Hamilton pulled a two-run shot down the right-field line. Chris Davis, who had a tiebreaking, two-run single to help the Rangers win the opener by the same 5-2 score, added a solo homer in the nightcap along with an infield single that got David Murphy home from second base. McCarthy (6-2) was activated from the 60-day disabled list (stress fracture in right shoulder blade) and made his first start since June 4. The right-hander allowed one run and three hits in 6 1-3 innings. He was pulled after Lyle Overbay's RBI double. Frank Francisco worked the ninth for his second save of the day and 21st in 24 chances this season. The Rangers gained a half-game in the AL wild-card race, moving within 3 1/2 games of Boston. The Red Sox won 8-4 at Tampa Bay, which dropped 2 1/2 games behind Texas and six behind Boston. Still, it wasn't all good news for the Rangers. All-Star third baseman Michael Young left the second game with a strained left hamstring sustained while running out a grounder in the third inning. The Rangers said Young would have an MRI on Wednesday and be re-evaluated then. Both homers by Hamilton came off rookie left-hander Brian Tallet (5-9), who struck out four and walked four in five innings. Davis hit a two-out grounder in the fourth to first baseman Overbay, then beat Tallet to the bag for an infield single. Murphy never stopped running to score from second. Davis' 17th homer made it 5-0 in the sixth. Hamilton, who has been on the DL twice this season, has 10 homers. Ian Kinsler hit a leadoff homer in the opener, and the game was tied 1-all with two outs in the fourth when Davis singled home two runs with a grounder that skipped under Overbay's glove. Dustin Nippert (5-2) allowed two runs over six innings before hard-throwing rookie Neftali Feliz struck out four in two perfect innings. Three of the punchouts by Feliz were called third strikes with off-speed pitches, the last on Aaron Hill. After a 97 mph fastball whizzed by Hill's head, and he fell to the ground getting out of the way, Feliz snapped off a 79 mph breaking ball to freeze him for strike three. "It's unbelievable. I was sitting on the training room table watching it," Nippert said. "It's unreal, his stuff. I've never seen anything like it. It's a lot of fun to watch." Feliz has 26 strikeouts and one walk in 11 appearances spanning 19 2-3 innings since being promoted to the majors Aug. 2. The 21-year-old right-hander had a major league-best 0.51 ERA in August before lowering his career mark to 0.46 on the first day of September. "As long as he's throwing that secondary stuff over the plate, they just can't sit on (the fastball)," Rangers manager Ron Washington said. "That's what's important." Kinsler's seventh leadoff homer this season and 12th of his career, both Rangers records, came on the third pitch from rookie left-hander Marc Rzepczynski (2-4). Rzepczynski struck out a career-high nine in six innings, but also allowed eight hits. Adam Lind homered and scored both Toronto runs. That came a day after Lind hit two homers with a career-high eight RBIs in an 18-10 victory in the series opener. His 28th homer pulled Toronto to 3-2 in the sixth.

Notes

Kinsler has 29 homers and 28 stolen bases, just short of becoming the third second baseman in major league history to join the 30-30 club. ... Blue Jays SS Marco Scutaro made two errors in the first game, the first time in 330 games he has committed multiple errors. He was charged with four on July 6, 2007. Scutaro had only four errors in his first 126 games this season. ... Young was 0 for 2 with two walks in the opener to end his 18-game hitting streak, which had been the longest active streak in the majors. He had also hit in 23 consecutive games at Rangers Ballpark, tying Ivan Rodriguez's team mark set in 1995.
Tagged: Rangers, Blue Jays

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