ARLINGTON, (AP) — Hank Blalock hit a two-run homer, Brandon McCarthy pitched six sharp innings and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 7-1 Friday night to end a five-game losing streak.
McCarthy (2-4) allowed one run and two hits with four walks. He began the night with a 9.90 ERA, having allowed 17 runs over six innings in his previous three starts.
Kenny Lofton also homered and Michael Young had three hits for the Rangers, who managed only 10 runs during the five-game slide. Blalock went 3-for-4 with three RBIs.
Sal Fasano homered for the Blue Jays, who’ve lost four straight overall and 14 of their last 17 in Arlington.
McCarthy performed like the Rangers hoped when they sent top pitching prospect John Danks to the Chicago White Sox in an offseason trade that brought McCarthy and catcher Chris Stewart to Texas.
McCarthy, who struck out one, got his first win since April 9 against Tampa Bay.
Texas manager Ron Washington has been encouraging his hitters to do a better job of manufacturing runs, and the Rangers took the small-ball approach in a two-run second off Tomo Ohka (2-3).
Blalock led off with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice by Ian Kinsler, the team’s leader in homers and RBIs. Brad Wilkerson followed with a single, with Blalock stopping at third and Wilkerson moving to second on center fielder Alex Rios’ throwing error.
Gerald Laird, who began the game with a .182 average, singled in both runners.
In the third, Fasano’s first homer of the season pulled the Blue Jays within one.
Texas responded with three runs in the third. Mark Teixeira hit an RBI double and Blalock drove him in with his second homer of the season.
McCarthy walked three in the fourth to load the bases, but got out of the jam when Fasano flied out. Willie Eyre pitched three scoreless innings for his first career save.
Lofton’s second homer leading off the fifth pushed Texas’ advantage to 6-1.
Ohka gave up seven runs and 10 hits in 7 1-3 innings.
Notes:@ There was a 15-minute, players-only meeting in the Texas clubhouse three hours before the game in an effort to find solutions to the team’s slow start. “They’re bewildered, and so am I,” Washington said. “They wanted to talk about the way things were going. They’re the ones who have to get the job done so if there’s any animosity or anything that’s causing what’s going on out there, they wanted to get that squared away. I thought it was a good thing.” … Sammy Sosa was back in the Texas lineup at DH after getting beaned Thursday night by Yankees reliever Brian Bruney. … Toronto CF Vernon Wells missed the game with flulike symptoms.