Blue Jays 6, Rangers 4

Corey Patterson took a big swing at a high 0-2 pitch coming at

him about shoulder high – and knocked it out of the ballpark for

the Toronto Blue Jays.

What Patterson called a ”1 in a 100” shot was the first of

three homers in a span of four batters for the Blue Jays in a

fifth-inning barrage that pushed them to a 6-4 victory over the AL

West-leading Texas Rangers on Monday night. Tough-luck rookie

starter Kyle Drabek got a much-deserved win.

Patterson’s three-run blast off Colby Lewis (1-3) with two outs

in the fifth was followed on the very next pitch by Jose Bautista’s

405-footer to left – his majors-leading eighth homer.

”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.”

The Blue Jays were coming off a 2-0 loss to Tampa Bay and had

gone 15 consecutive innings without a run until their three-homer

inning.

Lewis, the Rangers postseason ace last October who has now lost

his last three starts, turned and reacted in disbelief when

Patterson was rounding the bases.

”When you’re bitten, that’s the type of thing that happens,”

Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ”He tried to go up and out of

the zone on him and he still hits a three-run home run. And then

the rest of it happened so fast.”

After pitching coach Mike Maddux visited the mound following

Bautista’s homer, Adam Lind drew a walk and Juan Rivera hit his

first homer of the season for a 6-0 lead.

”It was good to see Corey Patterson take a pitch that might

have been somewhat of a setup pitch on an 0-2 count up and away

from him,” manager John Farrell said. ”To see the six runs on the

board was obviously good to see, and we made it hold up.”

Drabek (2-0), a 23-year-old rookie and Texas native, had gotten

a no-decision in three consecutive starts that the Blue Jays won

after he had pitched into at least the sixth. The right-hander gave

up three runs and five hits in six innings against the Rangers.

”It’s always nice to get a win. It’s a little bit more special

it came in my home state,” said Drabek, who had plenty of family

and friends watching him pitch. ”All the guys, they’re really just

telling me to stay relaxed. That’s what I tried to do. I tried to

slow the game down, stay relaxed throughout it.”

Texas designated hitter Michael Young extended his hitting

streak to 15 games with an RBI double off the right-field wall that

made it 6-3 in the sixth. Ian Kinsler also had a run-scoring double

in the inning.

Toronto entered the four-game series having lost 10 of 14 games

overall, but is now 12-1 in its last 13 series openers dating to

last season.

Jon Rauch worked the ninth, giving up a leadoff homer to Nelson

Cruz, before closing out his fourth save in four chances.

Yorvit Torrealba homered in the bottom of the inning for Texas,

right after David Murphy grounded into a double play.

”Kyle made a couple of big pitches when he had to,” Farrell

said. ”The groundball double play to Murphy, that had a chance to

kind of set things up for them. … That has a chance to be a

completely different looking inning for them.”

Lewis gave up six runs and seven hits while throwing 95 pitches

in five innings, with three strikeouts and four walks. He has a

6.95 ERA this season.

”I felt great,” Lewis said. ”I felt like tonight was the best

stuff I had all year, so I can’t get stuck on what happens in one

inning, just move forward and take the first four and move

on.”

The Rangers had three double plays and got a run-saving catch

from left fielder Murphy, but only the fans can grab the long balls

that went into the stands.

Toronto had two on and no outs in the fourth when Lind hit a

flyball slicing toward the left-field line. Murphy made a running

catch with his glove fully extended, and both runners had to scurry

back to the bases. Patterson was then thrown out trying to steal

third.

Murphy made another nice catch in the seventh on a flyball by

Patterson that turned into a double play when the relay through

shortstop Elvis Andrus got Yunel Escobar before he could get back

to first.

Each of Toronto’s first five innings ended on grounders to

Andrus, who was back in the lineup after a day off following errors

in three consecutive games. Andrus went deep in the hole toward

third and made strong throws to get Bautista ending the first and

leadoff hitter Escobar ending the third.

Notes: Toronto most previously hit three homers in an inning

last Aug. 7 against Tampa Bay. Lind, Aaron Hill and Edwin

Encarnacion had those. … Toronto reliever Frank Francisco

received his World Series ring from the Rangers before the game.

Francisco spent his first six major league seasons with Texas. He

made 56 appearances last year before missing the final month of the

regular season and all the postseason with a muscle strain. He was

traded to Toronto in January for catcher-first baseman Mike Napoli.

… Texas is 6-2 in series openers this season.