Rangers drop 20 games under .500 for 1st time in 11 years with 9-6 loss to Blue Jays


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TORONTO — Another tough loss dropped the struggling Texas Rangers to a depth they hadn't sunk to in more than a decade: 20 games under .500

Melky Cabrera hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and finished with three RBIs as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the slumping Rangers 9-6 on Sunday.

The decisive homer came on the third pitch Cabrera saw from right-hander Neftali Feliz (0-1), handing slumping Texas its 13th loss in 15 road games.

"I tried to throw my changeup down and away, and I missed in the middle," Feliz said.

The Rangers have won just four of their past 28 overall and are a major league-worst 39-59. It is the first time Texas is 20 games under .500 since finishing the 2003 season 71-91.

"I'm not upset with the way we're playing," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, who held a team meeting before the second half began Friday. "Those guys put us in a position to be able to win some ballgames. We've just got to pitch better."

The Rangers have lost all seven series they have played against AL East opponents this season, going 6-16 in those games. They have lost five straight series overall and 11 of 14.

"Every time we scored, we just couldn't stop them," Washington said.

Cabrera had three hits for the second straight day, giving him 13 multi-hit efforts in the past 28 games, as the Blue Jays won their first series since sweeping a two-game set against Milwaukee on July 1-2.

"The All-Star break did him wonders," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Cabrera. "He just needed to refresh a little bit. His hand speed, bat speed looks a little bit better."

Cabrera also showed he is no slouch with the glove, making a great catch on a sinking liner by Adam Rosales in the sixth to keep runners at first and second.

Todd Redmond (1-4) worked one inning for the win. Redmond left after Geovany Soto's leadoff double in the eighth, but Brett Cecil retired the next three batters.

Toronto sealed it with a three-run eighth against Matt West. Munenori Kawasaki singled home a run with the bases loaded, and Cabrera followed with a two-run hit to center.

Casey Janssen, unavailable Saturday because of illness, gave up an RBI single to Chris Gimenez in the ninth and was replaced by Aaron Loup after Jake Smolinski's hit. Loup retired pinch-hitter J.P Arencibia for his second straight save and fourth in seven chances.

Dioner Navarro opened the scoring with a leadoff homer in the second, and Jose Reyes added a two-run single to give Toronto a 3-0 lead. Texas answered in the third on a two-run single by Daniel Robertson, but Colby Rasmus made it 4-2 with an RBI single in the bottom half.

Dan Johnson drove in the fifth Toronto run with a sacrifice fly in the fifth, but left-hander Mark Buehrle couldn't hold the lead.

With two outs and the bases loaded in the sixth, Buehrle slipped and fell while trying to deliver a pitch to Robertson and was called for a balk, making it 5-3. Robertson promptly lined a tying single up the middle. Robertson went 2 for 5 with a career-high four RBIs, but took no joy in the milestone.

"You want to perform in a win, and when you lose it's not really for anything," he said.

Buehrle, who allowed five runs and eight hits in six innings, has gone seven weeks since beating Kansas City on June 1, a victory that made him the first 10-game winner in the majors. He is 0-5 in his past eight starts.

Rangers right-hander Nick Tepesch allowed five runs and nine hits in 4 1-3 innings. He walked two and struck out none.

"I made some mistakes over the plate and anytime you do that to hitters at this level, you're going to be punished for it."

NOTES: Adrian Beltre started at DH for the Rangers. OF Alex Rios, who left Saturday's game with a sprained right ankle, didn't play. Washington said Rios will sit out again Monday. ... The Rangers continue their trip with a four-game series against the New York Yankees. Texas RHP Miles Mikolas (0-2) faces Yankees RHP Shane Greene (2-0).

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