TORONTO – Nick Tepesch struggled in the sixth, the offense stalled against five different pitchers and the Texas Rangers lost 6-1 to the Blue Jays on Friday at the Rogers Centre.
The Rangers have lost seven of their last 11, and could lose their lead in the American League West if Oakland wins later tonight.
Tepesch started the game strong, retiring the first nine batters he faced. But he gave up a leadoff homer to Melky Cabrera in the fourth inning, and ran into more trouble in the sixth.
Tepesch hit Munenori Kawasaki with a pitch to start the inning, and then Cabrera followed with a single and Jose Bautista drew a walk to load the bases. The next batter, Edwin Encarnacion, ripped a two-run double to left-center field. The Blue Jays scored two more runs in the inning on sacrifice flies by Adam Lind and J.P. Arencibia for a 5-1 lead.
The Jays scored another run off Tepesch on an RBI single by Cabrera in the seventh.
It was the deepest Tepesch has pitched since his big-league debut on April 9, but the six earned runs were the most he’s allowed. In fact, Tepesch allowed six runs total in April.
The Rangers had taken a 1-0 lead in the first inning on an RBI single by Adrian Beltre. They dropped to 25-7 when they score first.
-- Drew Davison