Blue Jays-Rangers Preview

The Toronto Blue Jays used a plethora of homers to win the
season series from the Texas Rangers last season.

They got all they needed in one inning in the first meeting of
2011.

The Rangers will try to do a better job of keeping the Blue Jays
in the ballpark Tuesday night when Matt Harrison looks to bounce
back from his first loss.

Toronto (10-12) won seven of 10 from Texas (14-8) last season by
hitting 24 homers. Vernon Wells hit eight of those, but has
departed to the Los Angeles Angels.

The Blue Jays, though, went deep three times in a six-run fifth
inning during Monday’s 6-4 victory. Toronto had not scored in 15
innings before Corey Patterson, Jose Bautista and Adam Lind all
connected.

“To see the six runs on the board was obviously good to see, and
we made it hold up,” Toronto manager John Farrell said.

Bautista, whose eight home runs are tied with Milwaukee’s Ryan
Braun for the major league lead, entered Monday’s game with three
homers over his past three games, while the rest of the Blue Jays
had combined for one.

“The past few games, it seems we really couldn’t get anything
going offensively besides Jose swinging the bat well. We definitely
need to help him out,” Patterson said. “It seemed like I was able
to help jump-start the team.”

Harrison (3-1, 1.88 ERA) won his first three outings with a 1.23
ERA, but gave up a season-high three runs over 6 2-3 innings
Wednesday in a 4-1 loss to the Angels.

“I know I made a couple of mistakes, but I thought I pitched a
good game,” Harrison told the Rangers’ official website.

The left-hander’s lone career start against Toronto was April
22, 2009. He yielded five runs over four innings of Texas’ 8-7,
11-inning loss.

Rangers infielder Michael Young doubled twice Monday, and is
batting .419 during a 15-game hitting streak.

Jesse Litsch (1-1, 3.63) will replace the demoted Brett Cecil in
the rotation Tuesday for Toronto. Litsch, who was optioned to
Triple-A Las Vegas last Tuesday, threw 44 pitches and allowed one
earned run over three innings in his lone appearance in the minors
Friday.

“Friday’s start was on his fifth day from his previous start,”
Farrell told the Blue Jays’ official website. “He had been over 100
pitches prior on a couple of occasions, so we don’t look at that as
a step back in terms of workload capability.”

Litsch gave up six runs over six innings in his last start for
the Blue Jays, an 8-1 loss at Boston on April 17.

The right-hander is 1-0 with a 5.06 ERA in two career starts
against the Rangers, both in 2008. Young went 0 for 6 against him
in those games.

Toronto reliever Frank Francisco received his World Series ring
from the Rangers before the series opener. Francisco spent his
first six major league seasons with Texas before he was traded in
January.