ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -
was worried as last week's trading deadline approached that he might be changing teams. He's glad the
kept him around.
Laird homered twice and drove in four runs, helping the Rangers beat the
Toronto Blue Jays
8-4 on Sunday night.
''I didn't want to go anywhere,'' Laird said. ''I like this team. I think we've got a chance to be good for quite a while.''
Laird had his third career multihomer game, second this season, with two-run shots in the fourth and fifth innings to help
the Rangers remain on the fringe of the wild-card race.
Both homers were opposite-field shots into the right-field bullpen off Toronto rookie starter David Pursey, making his first
career appearance against the Rangers.
''I was trying to figure out the guy because I'd never faced him before,'' Laird said. ''I was trying to get something out
over the plate. I put good swings on it. I think I've had more hits there (right field) than I did all last year.''
(3-4) recovered from a three-run first inning to allow four runs and six hits in seven innings. Mendoza struck out two and
walked one in his 12th major league start, retiring his final nine batters.
Mendoza was surprised that manager
stuck with him through the seventh inning.
''When we got to the fifth, I thought maybe that would be my last inning,'' Mendoza said. ''But I didn't throw too many pitches
in the sixth. He trusted me to go back out there and that was good.''
also homered for the Rangers, his 11th in 33 games.
Texas continues to lead the majors in several offensive categories.
''Our offense has been taking off lately,'' Davis said. ''It's a great time to be part of the Rangers organization.''
Pursey (1-2) allowed only three hits in five innings, but all three were homers as he gave up five runs. Pursey struck out
four and walked two in his fourth major league start.
''I left a couple of pitches over the plate against a good-hitting team and they capitalized on those mistakes,'' Pursey said.
''I've got to learn to stay within myself and not overthrow.''
jumped on Mendoza for a three-run first highlighted by
's RBI double,
' run-scoring single and
's sacrifice fly.
In the fourth,
's RBI groundout pushed Toronto's lead to 4-0.
Purcey didn't allow a hit over the first three innings. But in the fourth, Purcey issued a leadoff walk to
and Laird followed with his first homer of the night to pull the Rangers within 4-2.
Davis' solo shot in the fifth drew the Rangers within one, and later in the inning Laird's two-run shot - his sixth of the
season - gave Texas a 5-4 advantage.
Purcey's ERA swelled to 8.35, but manager
thinks the young left-hander has a good future.
''We've got to look at this kid some more,'' Gaston said.
Texas broke the game open with a three-run eighth off the Toronto bullpen on
's RBI double, Davis' run-scoring single and
's sacrifice fly for an 8-4 lead.
had scored six runs in their previous four games entering the three-game series against Texas. Toronto's offense was considerably
more productive against the pitching staff with the worst ERA in the majors, putting up 18 runs in the series. But Toronto
still dropped two of the three games and has lost four of five overall.
Notes: The first-pitch temperature was 103 degrees, hottest for the start of a Rangers home game this season. ... Davis, a
left-handed hitter, hit five homers in his first 39 at-bats against left-handed pitching this season. ... Rangers DH
was not available for the fifth straight game due to a strained left quadriceps. Manager
did not have a timetable for Bradley's return, but Washington said he isn't yet ready to place Bradley on the DL. ... Both
teams skipped outdoor batting practice to hit in the indoor cages and escape the heat. ... 3B
wasn't in the Toronto lineup because of his right shoulder. He was replaced by
. ... Mendoza had the longest outing of his major league career.