Blue Jays sweep aside Rangers

Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is congratulated by outfielder Colbly Rasmus (right) after hitting...

Blue Jays catcher J.P. Arencibia is congratulated by outfielder Colbly Rasmus (right) after hitting a two-run home run against the Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington, Tex., June 16, 2013. (TIM SHARP/Reuters)

MIKE RUTSEY, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 1:33 AM ET

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - The Blue Jays put a pretty ribbon on their six-game road trip on Sunday afternoon.

Looking for the sweep of a four-game series against the Texas Rangers, the Jays came through thanks to the performance of Chien-Ming Wang on the mound and some more long balls at the plate.

The result was a 7-2 victory, their fifth in a row to mark a season high and a spiffy 5-1 trip when they needed it desperately.

It marked the first four-game sweep of the Rangers since July of 1994 and is the first time they have ever swept a four-game series in Arlington. Over the four games the Jays outscored Texas 24-4.

With the victory the Jays improved to 32-36 overall. The last time the club was four games under .500 was back on April 24.

They have won nine of their past 12.

“It’s a lot of guys just relaxing and expecting to win,” Mark DeRosa said of the winning formula. “What’s firing us up is that we’re just playing good baseball. To come down to Texas and take four games from them is not an easy task. We should feel good about it but there’s a lot of work to be done and a lot of season to play but it’s definitely nice to start playing the way we’re capable of.”

They are simply playing the best baseball they have all season and are doing it without the likes of Jose Reyes, Brett Lawrie, Brandon Morrow and J.A. Happ.

“We’re playing well, we’ve got to keep it going,” J.P. Arencibia said.

He was asked what’s been the best part of their win streak?

“Quality pitching,” he replied. “In this game if you don’t have starting pitching it’s going to be tough to win ball games. We’ve had a lot of quality starts lately. Guys have been helping us keep the game close at least. Offensively everyday it seems like somebody else does something. Adam Lind, I don’t think he’s got an out since the end of April so I think that helps too. Every time he comes up it’s another hit.”

Arencibia was exaggerating with Lind, but not by much.

Lind was 3-for-5 this day including a three-run homer in the Jays four-run seventh, the inning they put it away.

The homer was his 125th as a Jay which ties him with Fred McGriff or ninth of the club’s all-time list.

In his past 21 games, Lind has recorded 13 multi-hit games and over that time is batting a simply goofy .448 (39-for-87).

So, in just about every way it’s all coming together for the Jays.

On the mound Sunday, Wang rolled back the clock.

In his second start since the Jays signed him last Tuesday, the 33-year-old right-hander supplied seven shutout innings for the win. It was his first win since June 12, 2012.

Formerly Wang relied on his power sinker, a pitch he would throw 75% of the time.

But although his velocity has decreased he’s pitching smarter and he now resembles a right-handed Mark Buehrle, a finesse pitcher who adds in a changeup and splitter to keep the batters off balance.

“Today I feel much better (than his start in Chicago) and was using more my breaking ball and changeup,” Wang said. “This game I throw more changeup and splitter. In the minor leagues I threw mostly a sinker.”

Between starts, pitching coach Pete Walker suggested he use more of his secondary stuff and it worked.

“Now I have a changeup and split (to go with his sinking fastball) so I can mix it up,” he said.

One Jays player who will be unhappy to leave the heat of Arlington is Arencibia.

He got it started for the Jays in the second with a two-run home run — his second homer in as many games. It was his 14th of the season and seventh career home run at Rangers Ballpark in 11 career games. The seven home runs also represent the most that Arencibia has hit in any ball park on the road.

Arencibia also doubled in the fourth showing signs he is emerging from his 4-for-49 slump he has dragged behind him over his past 12 games.

So what’s with him and this stadium?

“I don’t know, if I knew I’d bring it into every park,” Arencibia said. “I’m not going to really look into it too much, just be thankful for it.”

Sort of like the Jays have been the past five games.


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