Texas Rangers

Blue Jays beat slumping AL West-leading Texas 2-1

Texas Rangers' Leody Taveras hits a solo home fun in front of Toronto Blue Jays catcher Alejandro Kirk during the third inning of a baseball game in Arlington, Texas, Friday, June 16, 2023.
AP Photo/LM Otero

Danny Jansen homered for the third time in two games, Kevin Gausman worked six innings to win his fourth consecutive decision and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the slumping AL West-leading Texas Rangers 2-1 on Friday night.

Jansen hit a two-run homer in the fifth off Martín Pérez (6-3). A day earlier, Jansen had two solo homers for the Blue Jays' only runs in a 4-2 loss at Baltimore.

Gausman (6-3) struck out four to increase his AL-high total to 121 while allowing one run and four hits over six innings. The right-hander is 4-0 in his last eight starts. Jordan Romano, the third Blue Jays reliever, got four outs for his 20th save in 23 chances.

Leody Taveras homered leading off the third for the Rangers (42-27), who lost for the seventh time in nine games. It was the No. 9 hitter's seventh homer this season, all in 39 games since the start of May.

Matt Chapman drew a walk to start the fifth, and Jansen followed with his ninth homer, a 385-foot drive that cleared the left-field wall. Jansen has gone deep six times in his last 12 games, though he was playing only his fourth game since being activated from the injured list after missing 2 1/2 weeks with a left groin strain.

Pérez has already allowed 12 homers in his 14 starts. There were only 11 long balls off him in 32 starts last season when he was a first-time All-Star.

After giving up 14 runs over 15 innings his previous three starts, Pérez limited the Blue Jays to two runs on their only three hits over six innings. He struck out three and walked one.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: RHP Zach Pop, on the injured list since May 5 with a right hamstring strain, is scheduled to throw in a game Saturday for Class-A Dunedin.

Rangers: RHP Jon Gray is expected to start the series finale Sunday. He was skipped in his last scheduled turn in the rotation Tuesday because of a blister. He is 5-1 with a 0.84 ERA in his last six starts, including 12 strikeouts in a 100-pitch complete game when losing 1-0 to St. Louis on June 7.

DEFENSE GEMS

Texas 2B Marcus Semien had a couple of standout defensive plays. He made a backhanded stop with his momentum taking him the other way before a strong throw to get Jansen out at first to end the second inning. Semien made a sliding grab on Vladimir Guerrero's grounder up the middle in the sixth, then got up and threw him out at first.

BLUE JAYS MOVES

Toronto RHP Adam Cimber returned from the paternity list and 1B/OF Spencer Horwitz was recalled from Triple-A Buffalo. The Blue Jays optioned RHP Thomas Hatch and OF Nathan Lukes to Buffalo.

UP NEXT

Rangers right-hander Dane Dunning (5-1, 2.76 ERA) starts the middle game of the series Saturday. The Blue Jays are going with a bullpen day.

Copyright Associated Press
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