Jays beat Rangers, McCarthy struggles again

TORONTO (AP) -- A milestone victory for Tomo Ohka provided a much-needed break for the Toronto Blue Jays' bullpen.

Alex Rios homered, Ohka pitched seven innings for his 50th major league win and the Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 7-3 Sunday.

Ohka (2-2), who beat Boston in his previous start, gave up one run and five hits. He walked three and struck out two.

"He's doing a nice job for us," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "That's two good ones in a row against powerful lineups."

Ohka is second behind Hideo Nomo for career victories by Japanese-born pitchers. Nomo won 123 games in 11 seasons in the majors.

A nine-year veteran, Ohka kept the lineup card and a ball from Sunday's win, saying he'll take them home to Japan after the season to give to his mother and brother. For him, the milestone was no big deal.

"Fifty is just 50," Ohka said. "I don't care about 50. It's nothing special."

More important to Ohka and Gibbons was a chance to rest the bullpen, which had worked nine innings over the past two games, both losses.

"That was huge because we were limited down there," Gibbons said.

Ohka gave up a run and three singles in the first two innings but didn't allow another hit until Jerry Hairston's one-out double in the seventh.

Catcher Jason Phillips said Ohka struggled with his fastball in the first two innings, allowing the Rangers to sit on his off-speed pitches. Ohka got command of his fastball in the third and ended his outing by retiring 15 of 18.

"That's when we were able to do pretty much what we needed to at will," Phillips said. "That got him through a lot of big innings there."

Aaron Hill went 3-for-4 and drove in two runs for Toronto. He has 17 RBIs this season, tying him with Vernon Wells for the team lead.

Hill said he's made minor changes to his stance that have helped him handle outside pitches.

"We've tinkered with my load a little bit, with my hands," he said. "Some days you have it, some days you don't. Today I saw the ball well and I felt good."

Ian Kinsler hit a two-run homer in the ninth, his ninth of the season, tying the Rangers record for home runs in April. Ivan Rodriguez (2000), Alex Rodriguez (2002) and Carl Everett (2003) also accomplished the feat.

"He's had a super month," Texas manager Ron Washington said. "He deserves everything he's gotten this month."

Brandon McCarthy (1-4) lasted just three innings for the Rangers, giving up five runs and six hits. He walked four and struck out four.

"We're going to wait on him. When it's his turn, he's going to get the ball," Washington said.

McCarthy was in trouble early. He walked three of the first four batters he faced, then hit Troy Glaus with a pitch to force in a run. One out later, Hill hit a two-run single through the left side to make it 3-0.

"We took advantage of a little wildness early," Gibbons said.

McCarthy made it through the second unscathed but struggled again in the third. Glaus led off with a walk, went to second on Hill's single and scored on a two-out single by Phillips. Adam Lind followed with a base hit to score Hill.

"It's disappointing. It angers me that this is three consecutive starts and there's long relievers in this league that have more innings over the course of three outings than I do," McCarthy said. "I went back to the same stuff that's been bugging me the last couple weeks and fell apart."

Toronto added two more in the seventh against reliever Scott Feldman. Rios led off with a home run and Hill singled and scored on a double by John McDonald, who extended his hitting streak to 10 games.

Matt Kata's second-inning single scored Frank Catalanotto but that was all the Rangers could manage against Ohka.


The roof at Rogers Centre was open for the first time this season. ... Washington celebrated his 55th birthday.