ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- The Texas Rangers made it seem like 2005, when they led the major leagues in home runs.
Ian Kinsler had three hits, including one of Texas' four homers, and Vicente Padilla struck out a season-high 10 to lead the Rangers to a 9-3 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays on Wednesday night.Hank Blalock, Michael Young and Rod Barajas also homered for Texas.The power show was overdue for the Rangers, who had scored only 21 runs in their previous nine games and lag far behind last year's club-record home run pace.Texas hit 260 homers in 2005, second-most in major-league history and four behind the record set by Seattle in 1997. The Rangers entered Wednesday night's game with 87 homers, 11th in the AL."I don't know if we've been pressing," Texas' Gary Matthews Jr. said after going 2-for-5. "We had the same approach, we just had better results. It was a good win. We had solid pitching and we scored runs for [Padilla]."Padilla (8-5) gave up three runs, six hits and one walk in 6 2/3 innings to match Kevin Millwood for the team lead in victories.Francisco Cordero pitched the final 2 1/3 innings for his sixth save in 14 chances.Earlier Wednesday, the Rangers learned that Millwood will miss Friday's scheduled start against Minnesota and won't pitch again until after the All-Star break. Millwood has a strained right biceps and hasn't picked up a baseball since last Sunday.With Millwood's status unknown and projected No. 2 starter Adam Eaton out since spring training, Padilla has given the pitching staff a big lift, going 4-0 with a 2.92 ERA in his last five home starts."Vinny pitching well has been a real need for us," Rangers manager Buck Showalter said.The Rangers beat Toronto for the 16th time in the last 20 meetings. Texas, which moved within 1½ games of first-place Oakland in the AL West, is 13-3 against Toronto in Arlington since 2004 after taking two of three from the Blue Jays."They always play us tough," Toronto's Gregg Zaun said. "Texas was struggling when we got here and you'd like to think you can take advantage of that."Frank Catalanotto homered for the Blue Jays, who have won six of nine and remained four games behind first-place Boston in the AL East, failing to take advantage the Red Sox's third straight loss to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays."It's another example of not taking advantage of opportunities by this ballclub," Zaun said.Mark Teixeira led off the second with a single off rookie Casey Janssen (6-7) and Blalock hit his 12th homer. Kinsler followed with his seventh to give Texas a 3-0 lead.Hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo had seen enough of his slumping hitters and he lashed out at them in the dugout prior to the second inning."I just snapped," Jaramillo said."You can work on mechanics and work on scouting reports all you want, but at some point you have to get the job done," Matthews said. "I guess he'd seen enough. He opened up a little bit on us."The Blue Jays made it 3-1 in the third on Vernon Wells' RBI groundout, but Young hit a two-run shot, his sixth, in the bottom of the inning."I left some pitches up and couldn't keep the ball in the park," Janssen said.Janssen, who has lost five of his last six starts, allowed five runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings."He's going to have his ups and downs," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said, "but he's a rookie. I don't want him to lose his confidence."Catalanotto's two-run homer in the fifth -- his sixth -- pulled Toronto within 5-3.Kevin Mench had an RBI double in the sixth, Mark DeRosa added a run-scoring single in the seventh and Barajas' two-run homer in the eighth -- his seventh -- made it 9-3.
Gibbons will miss the next two games in Kansas City to be with his ailing father in San Antonio. Bench coach Ernie Whitt will run the team until Gibbons returns on Saturday. ... Both teams took batting practice in the indoor cages because the field was covered due to the threat of rain. The tarp was removed from the infield about an hour before the scheduled start, and the game got under way on time. ... Texas hit back-to-back homers for the seventh time this season. ... Padilla's 10 strikeouts were the most for the Rangers this season and one off his career high set in 2002 for Philadelphia. ... Kinsler is 13-for-25 over his last seven games.