Texas 15 Toronto 3
ARLINGTON, Texas — Nelson Cruz hit a grand slam and tied his career high with eight RBIs, Josh Hamilton hit his 19th home run of the season and the Texas Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 14-3 Friday night.
Cruz’s grand slam came in the seventh inning and gave Texas a 14-1 lead. He also had a three-run double in the first and an RBI single in the sixth.
Toronto starter Brandon Morrow (5-3) was knocked out after recording just two outs in the first. The right-hander, who had two shutouts in his prior four starts, gave up six runs and five hits in the shortest start of his career.
Derek Holland (4-3) struck out a season-high nine in 7 1-3 innings. He allowed two runs and five hits.
Blue Jays backup catcher Jeff Mathis pitched a scoreless eighth, becoming the sixth position player in Toronto history to pitch.
Cruz, who went 4-for-5, also drove in eight runs on July 22, 2011. His grand slam in the seventh was the fourth of his career and second of the season.
Hamilton, who leads the majors in home runs, had gone 11 games without a homer before leading off the second with his first since May 12. He left the game in the seventh inning with a head cold.
Edwin Encarnacion hit his 15th home run of the season for the Blue Jays, who have lost three in a row.
Morrow threw 44 pitches in the first inning and faced 10 batters before he was relieved by Carlos Villanueva.
Adrian Beltre had a two-run single and Cruz’s bases-loaded double gave the Rangers a 5-0 lead.
Mitch Moreland’s RBI single capped the scoring in the first, and Morrow was relieved one batter later after Ian Kinsler doubled to centre.
Texas, which had been held to 35 runs in its last 10 games, finished with 18 hits.
Mathis was the fifth Blue Jays pitcher of the game — and the only one to not give up a run. He allowed a double and a walk in the eighth. Alberto Gonzalez flew out to end the eighth.
Hamilton’s home run leading off the second landed in the second deck in right and gave him 50 RBIs this season. He became first player in club history to hit 19 home runs in the team’s 46 games of the season.
Yorvit Torrealba added his first home run, and Beltre and Michael Young each had three hits.
NOTES: Mathis was the first Blue Jays position player since Mike McCoy on June 11, 2011. … Rangers C Mike Napoli was held out of the lineup with an upset stomach. . Hamilton tied the club record with his 10th home run in May. . Toronto 2B Kelly Johnson singled in the third to reach base in his 19th straight game. . Pro golfer Jason Dufner threw out the first pitch. Dufner leads the Colonial, which is being played in nearby Fort Worth, after two rounds.