Rangers strand Jays

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson (L) tags out Texas Rangers baserunner Craig Gentry...

Toronto Blue Jays second baseman Kelly Johnson (L) tags out Texas Rangers baserunner Craig Gentry trying to steal second base in Toronto August 18, 2012. (Reuters/MIKE CASSESE)

BOB ELLIOTT, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 5:40 PM ET

TORONTO - As sunny stadiums go Rogers Centre isn’t the worst.

It only seemed so on Saturday afternoon.

“Probably Yankee Stadium or Oakland, they’re the parks I’ve heard guys complain about the most,” said Blue Jays outfield coach Tory Luvullo.

The sun was blinding in top of the fifth as Blue Jays right fielder Anthony Gose camped under what looked like a routine fly ball from Adrian Beltre.

Gose lost the ball in the sun and that was the difference as the Texas Rangers edged the Jays 2-1 win before 30,033 fans. With the lid pulled back, the ball landed 15 feet from Gose for a double.

Nelson Cruz hit the next pitch deep to left for his 19th homer and the lead, which five Rangers relievers made, held as the difference between winning and extras.

“I talked to Anthony, he and Colby were communicating like they are supposed, telling each other the trouble spots before each pitch,” Luvullo said. “It’s an all-hands-on-deck situation, but Colby had too far of a run to get there.

“The problem was the ball was hit so high and never came out of the sun. It stinks that was the difference in the game.”

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Hitless wonders: The Jays stranded 10 runners including leaving the bases loaded in the sixth and seventh plus two in the fourth. The Jays had three hits in 13 at-bats (.231) with runners in scoring position. This series is similar to say an April series the second week of the season in Cleveland: pitchers are ahead hitters and the bat stings when you make contact: a 3-2 Jays win and a combined eight hits by both teams Friday and 12 hits in a 2-1 Rangers win Saturday ... Either that or the first series after Brett Lawrie did his helmet toss off plate Bill Miller’s hip when tensions were high between the Jays and the umps and strike zones were wide as the 401. Yunel Escobar was ejected by plate umpire Jeff Nelson after popping up an 0-1 pitch to strand the bases loaded in the seventh. Obviously Escobar didn’t like Nelson’s call on the first pitch and obviously Escobar didn’t get the memo that you can’t stand at short and cuss out the plate ump. Gone. Get some warm water.

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Most consistent: Before Carlos Villanueva took the mound manager John Farrell called Villanueva his most consistent starter this season. And the reliever turned starter deserved a better fate. He was had put up four zeros before Beltre hit a ball into the twilight zone and then Cruz hit a souvenir ... “Consistency is what we strive for, to give your team a chance to win,” said Villanueva. “I don’t say ‘wow I’m the most consistent.’ I’d rather have the other four starters do a good job and me have to do better. (J.A.) Happ was excellent Friday night and hopefully we get a starter back this trip.” ... Brandon Morrow makes his final rehab start Sunday at double-A New Hampshire and if all goes well, will start a game next weekend in Baltimore ... Soon-to-be free agent Villanueva pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing four hits, three that were not lost in the sun, and two runs. He threw 86 pitches, leaving with one out in the seventh after a Beltre single ... The Jays comfort zone with the reliever-turned-starter is 85-to-100 pitches. Reliever Aaron Loup got an out on a ground ball and then caught David Murphy attempting to steal second.

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In Game: Mike McCoy took over at third base with Hechavarria moving to shortstop after the Escobar ejection and made a Scott Rolen-like play on a smash by Michael Young ... Hechavarria showed a strong arm knocking down a grounder from Luis Martinez and throwing to second for the force also hit a ground-rule double ... Jeff Mathis then threw out Martinez attempting to steal ... Two balks were called on Rangers starter Oswalt ... The Jays scored in the third when Gose walked, stole second and was balked to second by Roy Oswalt and scored when Adeiny Hechavarria lined a single to left. Oswalt, subbing for Ryan Dempster, placed on the restricted list missing his scheduled start, was hooked by manager Ron Washington after 4 2/3 innings after allowing only two hits. Washington went to lefty Robbie Ross with a man on third, clinging to a 2-1 lead who popped up left-handed hitter Colby Rasmus.

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The strange: The speedy Gose, who stole a base first time up, singled leading off the fifth. Hechavarria and Rajai Davis then bunted on successive pitches. Hechavarria moved Gose to second, but Davis popped the ball up and then Rasmus ending the inning. Total number of swings in anger that inning with a man in scoring position: one. Apparently the sign from third base coach Brian Butterfield was for a steal (which Gose pick up) and a fake bunt ... Instructional league continues for the Jays coaching staff with the finale of the series Sunday afternoon.


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