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Blue Jays dominate Rangers

J.P. Arencibia
Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia blasts a solo home run against the Rangers.
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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP)

Batting helmets were slammed, a bat was tossed, and the star shortstop was kicked out of the game.

The slumping Texas Rangers are definitely showing their frustration.

Elvis Andrus was ejected in the sixth inning, and the Rangers struggled against Mark Buehrle in their fourth straight loss, an 8-0 defeat to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

The Rangers have scored only five runs during their losing streak, which has come at home. They have dropped 12 out of 18 to fall into second place in the AL West behind Oakland.

The exasperation over the recent lack of offense was most evident when Andrus was ejected after being called out on strikes.

Andrus yelled at umpire Eric Cooper from the dugout, and a bat was thrown onto the field after the two-time All-Star was tossed. Craig Gentry and Leonys Martin also showed emotion by slamming their batting helmets after outs.

''When going through the spells they're going through, they're going to get upset.'' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ''If they don't get upset, that probably means they don't care.''

This is Texas' first four-game slide this season and its longest home losing streak since July 8-11, 2010.

The team known for its power and high-scoring offense during playoff runs the past three years is in a funk. The Rangers got only one runner to second base as they were shut out for the fourth time this season.

The 2 hour, 8 minute game ended when Lance Berkman grounded into a double play, the Rangers' third of the game. It was the quickest game played at Texas since May 23, 2011.

''We're playing out of character right now,'' catcher Geovany Soto said.

Buehrle (3-4) threw seven shutout innings and improved to 13-5 against the Rangers. The left-hander gave up four singles and equaled his season high with seven strikeouts to win his first road game of the year.

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In his last five starts, the 34-year-old Buehrle is 2-1 with a 1.91 ERA. His ERA has dropped from 6.33 to 4.66 in that span.

''I'm in a groove right now,'' Buehrle said. ''Hopefully it won't change.''

Colby Rasmus hit a three-run shot in the fourth, and J.P. Arencibia capped the inning with a solo shot as the Blue Jays won for the sixth time in eight games.

''We know we can hit, and now we're putting everything together,'' Toronto designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion said. ''The pitching is good and the offense is good.''

Texas starter Justin Grimm (5-5) allowed 10 hits and seven runs in 7 2-3 innings. The rookie is 0-2 with an 11.66 ERA in his last three starts.

''This was a learning experience for me,'' Grimm said. ''I have to learn a little damage control. It seems like the difference in my past couple of outings has been that one big inning.''

Encarnacion led off the fourth with a double, and Adam Lind followed with a single.

Rasmus then lined an 0-2 pitch from Grimm over the fence in right field. One out later, Arencibia gave the Blue Jays a 4-0 lead with a solo shot to left.

In the fifth, Encarnacion hit a two-out double off the wall in left and scored on Lind's single.

That was plenty of support for Buehrle, who threw a no-hitter against the Rangers in 2007.

Texas' only scoring threat came in the second when Adrian Beltre led off with a single, and Nelson Cruz walked. Buehrle got out of trouble when Chris McGuiness bounced into a double play to end the threat.

Buehrle had been 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in six road starts this season.

Toronto added to its lead on Melky Cabrera's RBI groundout in the seventh. Maicer Izturis had a run-scoring double in the eighth to push the advantage to 7-0. Rajai Davis added a sacrifice fly in the ninth.

The Rangers were without infielder Jeff Baker, who missed the game after spraining his right wrist receiving a high five from what he called an ''overexcited'' teammate before Thursday's game. Baker didn't identify the teammate.

The right-handed hitting Baker, who is batting .386 against left-handers, was expected to start against Buehrle.

NOTES: Toronto RHP Josh Johnson (blister) had his scheduled start pushed back to Monday. RHP Chien-Ming Wang will instead take the mound Sunday against the Rangers. It will be his second start of the season. ... Texas RHP Joakim Soria threw live batting practice Friday as he recovers from right elbow surgery. Soria is scheduled to throw again Monday.

Tagged: Edwin Encarnacion, Elvis Andrus, Rangers, Blue Jays, Mark Buehrle, Jeff Baker, Colby Rasmus, J.P. Arencibia

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