ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Ryan Drese insists he doesn't pitch any
differently at home. The Texas right-hander just gets better
Drese allowed just one earned run pitching into the eighth
inning, and the AL West-leading Rangers start the second half of
the season with an 11-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday
"What Ryan's doing is incredible," said Laynce Nix, who was
4-for-4 with a two-run homer in just his third game back from the
Drese (5-5) has gotten all of his wins at home, where his 1.91
ERA is the second-best in the AL behind Oakland's Tim Hudson. He
scattered nine hits, seven of them singles, the last by Dave Berg
leading off the eighth.
The only home loss for Drese was 1-0 in a complete game against
Houston on June 27, the Rangers' last home game until Friday night.
He had allowed 11 earned runs over 16 innings in three starts since
"I do the same thing at home as I do on the road. I'm not
taking a different approach," said Drese, who wasn't even in the
starting rotation when the season began. "It happens. That's just
the way it falls."
The AL West-leading Rangers (50-37) had a better record at this
point in the season only once, when they were 51-36 in 1996 -- when
they won their first division title.
Drese got plenty of offensive support. The Rangers had 15 hits
and responded after Toronto's unearned run in the third with five
runs in the bottom half of the inning to lead for good.
Alfonso Soriano, the All-Star game MVP, had a two-run homer and
a pair of RBI singles. First baseman Mark Teixeira, the only Texas
starting infielder who didn't play in the All-Star game, homered
and drew a bases-loaded walk.
Nix, the No. 9 hitter in the order, scored three times and was a
triple shy of a cycle. Gary Matthews was 3-for-4 with a single in
the second, a double in the sixth and a triple an inning later.
The Rangers chased 2003 AL Cy Young winner Roy Halladay (7-7)
after four innings, his shortest outing this season. He gave up six
runs on seven hits before leaving with what the right-hander
described as a tired arm.
Halladay had two strikeouts and three walks, upping his season
total to 36 -- four more than in his 266 innings all of last season.
He is 2-3 with a 5.85 ERA in seven starts since returning from the
disabled list because of soreness in his right shoulder.
"I don't know what the best thing to do is right now. I'm not
always 100 percent," Halladay said.
"The ball's not coming out of his hand the way we're used to
see it," manager Carlos Tosca said. "He doesn't have a sharp
breaking ball, and he's pitching entirely with his fastball. And
his fastball right now isn't his top fastball."
Tosca said Halladay would be evaluated in the coming days.
The Rangers took the lead after Teixeira's solo homer to center
with one out in the second. It was his 19th of the season and 10th
during a 25-game stretch during which he has hit .361.
After Toronto tied the game with an unearned run, Texas turned
three singles and three walks in the bottom of the third into five
runs. The first four scored before an out, including consecutive
RBI singles by All-Star third baseman Hank Blalock and Soriano.
Nix's 10th homer, a two-run shot, came off Bob File in a
three-run sixth that gave Texas a 9-1 lead.
"Hopefully, I get on a roll and stay on the field," said Nix,
a .310 hitter who missed 23 games with a sprained right shoulder
before returning last weekend. "It feels good to get some
Soriano hit his 19th homer in the eighth off Justin Speier.
Vernon Wells was 3-for-3 -- all singles -- in his first game back
from the disabled list because of a strained right calf. Toronto
trailed 9-2 when he was replaced in the field in the seventh inning
for precautionary reasons.
"It was good to be back on the field. I was able to get through
a game and not hurt myself," said Wells, who is from Arlington.
Carlos Delgado, who told Toronto general manager J.P. Ricciardi
earlier Friday that he wouldn't waive his no-trade clause, was
0-for-4. He was robbed of a hit in the sixth when left fielder
David Dellucci made a leaping catch and was fully extended when he
caught the ball in the gap.
Texas has eight players with at least 10 homers, tying a
team record that has been accomplished five other times. ...
Toronto 3B Eric Hinske extended his career-best hitting streak to
14 games with a third-inning single. ... Matthews is hitting .405