ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - Ninth-inning defensive replacement Corey Patterson couldn't track down a fly ball. Normally reliable setup man Marc Rzepczynski failed to record an out. The Toronto Blue Jays couldn't protect a late lead.
It all went wrong for the Blue Jays as three straight ninth-inning bunts set the stage for Michael Young's game-winning single as the Texas Rangers rallied for a 5-4 victory Saturday night.
The Rangers trailed 4-3 when Rzepczynski (2-3) walked pinch-hitter Mike Napoli leading off the ninth after getting ahead in the count 0-2. Rzepczynski threw wide of first for an error on Mitch Moreland's first career sacrifice bunt.
Rzepczynski entered the night with a 2.75 and an opposing batting average of .201, but he panicked on Moreland's bunt.
``I started thinking too quick, thinking about getting the lead out at second, and then I turned around to throw it,' Rzepczynski said of his error. ``I just didn't get my arm turned around in time and it sailed on me to the left.'
Closer Jon Rauch came in, and the runners advanced to second and third on Ian Kinsler's bunt.
Napoli scored on Elvis Andrus' suicide-squeeze bunt to tie it at 4, and after Josh Hamilton was intentionally walked, pinch-runner Craig Gentry crossed the plate on Young's drive over the head of Patterson in right field.
Patterson got turned around on the ball, which he said wasn't catchable.
``It was just hit over my head, right above my head, went off the wall, thats what happened,' he said.
Jays manager John Farrell agreed that it was a tough play for Patterson.
``He got turned around twice,' Farrell said. ``The way this wind plays in here, when it's blowing in from right field, there's almost a boomerang effect and it carries the ball to right field. It looked like a routine fly ball that ended up just drifting. And once he got turned around the first time, you knew right then he was going to be in trouble.'
Darren Oliver (3-5) retired the final batter of the eighth for the victory as the Rangers won for the 14th time in 16 games.
Toronto's J.P. Arencibia homered for the third time in two games to spark a three-run sixth.
Rangers starter Matt Harrison had retired 12 of the previous 13 batters and took a 3-1 lead into the sixth before Arencibia led off with his 15th homer of the season, following up on Friday night's two-homer effort in a 12-2 loss to Texas.
Yunel Escobar followed with a double and scored on Eric Thames' triple to tie it at 3. Jose Bautista's single drove in Thames to put the Jays in front.
Toronto's Carlos Villanueva pitched into the sixth in his first career start against the Rangers. Villanueva, a converted reliever, allowed three runs and 10 hits in 5 2-3 innings of a 105-pitch outing.
Adam Lind's RBI double in the first gave the Jays the lead. It was Lind's 29th RBI in 21 career games at Texas.
The Rangers drew even at 1 in the third when Kinsler doubled and Hamilton hit a two-out triple.
Chris Davis' RBI single in the fourth gave Texas a 2-1 lead, and Nelson Cruz added a run-scoring double in the fifth.
The Blue Jays had won eight of their previous 11, but they've dropped the first two of the three-game series to fall under .500 (50-51).
``It is frustrating,' Patterson said. ``We battled hard today. The last inning, it just didn't go our way.'
Notes: Before the game, the Jays designated LHP Jo-Jo Reyes for assignment and called up LHP Wilfredo Ledezma from Triple-A Las Vegas. ... Rangers All-Star 3B Adrian Beltre went on the 15-day DL with a strained left hamstring sustained while running the bases in Friday night's game. Beltre will be out an estimated 2-3 weeks. Davis was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock, and got the start at 3B on Saturday. Davis and Young will split time at 3B.
The Associated Press News Service
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