The Herald Bulletin
---- — ARLINGTON, Texas — Toronto manager John Gibbons knew Chien-Ming Wang could help the beaten up Blue Jays pitching staff. He just didn't think it would happen this soon.
Wang won for the first time in more than a year, Colby Rasmus homered for a third straight game, former Highland star Adam Lind homered for the second straight day and the Blue Jays completed a four-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.
The 33-year-old Wang twice won 19 games for the New York Yankees before injuries derailed his career. He hurt his right foot in 2008 and injured his right shoulder in 2009.
In his second start with the Blue Jays, Wang (1-0) allowed seven hits in seven shutout innings to win for the first time since last June 12 with Washington. Toronto signed Wang last Tuesday to bolster a rotation with three starters on the disabled list.
"We didn't know what to expect, to be honest with you," Gibbons said. "He was one of the best in the game with (the Yankees). We got some good reports on him, otherwise he wouldn't be here. To be honest, he's pitching better than I expected of him."
Wang was 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts this year for the Yankees' Triple-A team at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. New York released him last week at his request, and Wang signed with the Blue Jays.
Wang finished his 99-pitch outing by getting Andrus to ground out to second with runners on first and third in the seventh. He struck out five and walked two.
"I waited for a chance to come up to the majors," Wang said. "Toronto picked me and gave me a chance to come here and play."
The Rangers lost their sixth in a row and fell to 1-6 on a season-high, 11-game homestand. Texas has dropped six straight for the first time since April 15-21, 2010.
Texas manager Ron Washington said he spoke with the team after the game, but didn't divulge his message.
"I thought they needed to hear from the manager," Washington said. "We're not the first team to lose six in a row and we probably won't be the last."
Lind hit a three-run homer, and J.P. Arencibia added a two-run shot for Toronto. The Blue Jays outscored the Rangers 24-4 to sweep a four-game series at Texas for the first time.
"I keep hearing the Rangers are struggling and all that," Gibbons said. "Maybe we're pitching good. Maybe we're playing good. I get tired of hearing that. I tip my hat to my guys."
Derek Holland (5-4) allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings for the Rangers, who have only scored eight runs in their slide.
Elvis Andrus had an RBI single, and Ian Kinsler walked with the bases loaded to break up the shutout in the ninth.
Texas has lost six in a row at home for the first time since a seven-game slide from July 20-Aug. 3, 2005.
"I didn't sense any frustration," Texas outfielder David Murphy said. "We're past that point. Things didn't happen. With the amount of talent we have here, we're very close to turning this thing around."
Arencibia, who entered the series in a 3-for-41 rut, hit his second homer in three games. He lined an 0-1 pitch just over the 14-foot fence in left, a two-run shot that gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
It was the first home run Holland has given up since May 19.
Rasmus led off the fourth with a drive off the foul pole in right for his 13th homer.
The Blue Jays scored four times in the seventh to extend their lead to 7-0. Jose Bautista had an RBI single, and Lind capped it with a three-run homer to right off Kyle McClellan.
Lind went 7-for-17 in the series with two home runs and six RBIs.
Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski had consecutive one-out singles in the fourth to put runners on first and third. The Rangers, however, couldn't take advantage of that chance.
Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion made a diving catch to his right of Nelson Cruz's liner, and David Murphy popped out to left to end the threat.
Texas rookie Jurickson Profar started at third base for the first time in his career. Beltre had a scheduled day off in the field and was the designated hitter.
Before the game, Profar spent time on the field working with infield coach Dave Anderson.
Kinsler batted third for the first time since May 22, 2011. He batted in that spot 60 times in 2010.