ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) - The big bats of the Texas Rangers were no match for Brett Cecil's offspeed stuff.
Toronto's left-hander limited Texas to only four singles, with only one runner even getting to second base, as the AL West-leading Rangers lost 3-0 on Sunday night to end their nine-game home winning streak.
``It was all Brett Cecil's night,' Rangers manager Ron Washington said. ``You can get shut out by anybody if you make your pitches. He was good. They're big league pitchers, and sometimes they pitch a heck of a game and tonight was it.'
Cecil's first major league shutout came in a victory over Rangers All-Star right-hander Alexi Ogando (10-4), who matched Cecil for all but one inning before he was out of the game.
Ogando had won his previous three starts this month following a three-game losing streak. He struck out six and walked two in 6 2-3 innings, allowing three doubles in the sixth that led to all of Toronto's runs.
``He just hit a wall and ran out of gas,' Washington said. ``I'll take him giving up three runs every night. He kept us in the ballgame.'
Jose Bautista had an RBI double that sent home Yunel Escobar after he led off the sixth with his third hit. Edwin Encarnacion and Travis Snider had consecutive RBI doubles later in the inning for the Blue Jays.
The Rangers lost for only the third time in 17 games overall, and had their nine-game home winning streak ended.
It was the fifth time this season the Rangers were shut out, but the first by an individual pitcher.
Cecil struck out seven and walked two while throwing a career-high 121 pitches in a game that started with a temperature of 105 degrees - matching the hottest ever at Rangers Ballpark.
``He mixed it up. Seems like he stayed out of trouble all night,' Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland said. ``He worked both sides of the plate, was throwing everything for strikes and getting ahead. When you do that, you're going to have a good game.'
The only other complete game for Cecil in his 55 career games was a 3-2 loss at Boston on July 5. Last season, he took a perfect game into the seventh inning at Cleveland before settling for eight innings of one-hit ball in a 5-1 victory.
Cecil made his fifth start since being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas, where the Blue Jays had sent him after he had a 6.86 ERA in April and his velocity was down.
He got through the heart of the Rangers lineup in the ninth, including a weak groundout by reigning AL MVP Josh Hamilton to start the inning before Nelson Cruz had a two-out infield single and Mike Napoli struck out to end the game.
``It's a great accomplishment, to come back from where I was at the start of the season and floating around the whole season, it's a huge thing for me to get back on the right path,' Cecil said. ``I just hope it continues.'
The only Texas runner to get to second was Craig Gentry, who singled twice - on a bunt in the third and another hit in the eighth. He got to second in the eighth after tagging up on a long flyball by Moreland.
Gentry was briefly stunned when his helmet came off and he slid headfirst into the back side of second baseman Aaron Hill's leg. Gentry stayed down on the ground briefly and was checked out by a trainer. He stayed in the game.
Each of Toronto's first four innings ended with Ogando striking out a batter, the same way the fifth inning started. After Escobar and Eric Thames had consecutive two-out singles in the third, Ogando got out of that jam when he threw a 96 mph fastball past Bautista.
Bautista didn't miss in the sixth.
Toronto had also scored three runs in the sixth inning Saturday night to take a 4-3 lead in that game, but Texas won with two runs in a ninth-inning rally that included three sacrifice bunts - one a suicide squeeze - before Michael Young's game-ending hit.
Notes: It was also 105 degrees when Oakland played at Texas on July 8. The previous record high temperature before the two 105-degree nights this month had been 103 degrees on Aug. 3, 2008, another night game against Toronto. ... The Rangers won 10 games in a row at Rangers Ballpark in 1998. ... The Blue Jays have won four of seven against Texas this season, all at Rangers Ballpark. They wrap up their season series next weekend with three games in Toronto. ... In the field, the Blue Jays used a drastic shift against some of the Texas left-handers that had third baseman Bautista playing short right field - much like the rover in a softball game. Bautista started the bottom of the sixth with a diving catch of Moreland's sinking liner.
The Associated Press News Service
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