On the verge of their longest winning streak in nearly two years, the Toronto Blue Jays are slowly creeping back to .500.
The Texas Rangers , meanwhile, are trying to avoid their worst home losing streak in eight years.
The surging Blue Jays look for a historic sweep in Arlington on Sunday against a Texas team that has dropped five straight at home.
Following Saturday's 6-1 victory, Toronto (31-36) has a chance to win five consecutive games for the first time since July 8-15, 2011, and capture the first four-game sweep at Texas in the 36-year history of the franchise.
The Blue Jays, whose run has come after dropping the opener of a rainout-shortened six-game trip, have moved within five games of the break-even point for the first time since April 25, when they were 9-14.
Toronto has also won seven of nine overall, largely because the pitching staff has a 1.36 ERA in those victories.
Chien-Ming Wang (0-0, 6.14 ERA) hopes to become the latest pitcher to shut down a scuffling Texas offense that's batting .224 and has totaled six runs during a season-worst five-game skid.
The Rangers (38-30), winless since the opener of an 11-game homestand, are 3 for 26 with runners in scoring position during the losing streak. They haven't dropped six straight at home since a seven-game slide from July 20-Aug. 3, 2005."It's just simple baseball, getting base hits with runners in scoring position," manager Ron Washington said. "It's not just one part of the batting order. It's up and down the lineup."
They'll try to turn things around against Wang, who makes his second start after signing with the injury-riddled Blue Jays on Monday. The right-hander lasted 7 1-3 innings while giving up five runs and 10 hits in a 7-5, 10-inning win over the Chicago White Sox on Tuesday."I thought he did a great job," manager John Gibbons said. "He really did."
Wang, who went 2-3 with a 6.68 ERA for Washington last season, is 2-1 with a 6.12 ERA in four career starts against the Rangers, though hasn't faced them since 2009.
Beltre has been a bright spot for the sputtering Rangers, going 6 for 13 with two walks in his last four games.
Second baseman Ian Kinsler , who missed 25 games because of bruised ribs, went 0 for 4 after making a surprising return Saturday. He's hitless in six career at-bats against Wang.
Texas, 1-5 versus Toronto this season, hopes left-hander Derek Holland (5-3, 3.11) can bounce back from a disappointing effort in his last start.
Holland had won four straight decisions before getting pinned with his first loss since April 27 on Tuesday. He allowed four runs and nine hits over a season-low 4 1-3 innings in a 5-2 loss to Cleveland.
Holland is 3-0 with a 2.39 ERA in four starts versus the Blue Jays since getting tagged for a career-worst 10 runs over three-plus innings against them Aug. 31, 2009.
Teammate Colby Rasmus , however, has homered in each of the last two games of this series.
|Toronto Blue Jays|
|June 03, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||15-Day DL||Right elbow strain|
|June 02, 2013||Ramon Ortiz||Day-to-Day||Left game - right elbow|
|June 01, 2013||Brandon Morrow||15-Day DL||Right forearm strain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||15-Day DL||Left ankle sprain|
|May 28, 2013||Brett Lawrie||Day-to-Day||Ankle sprain|
|May 19, 2013||Darren Oliver||15-Day DL||Left shoulder strain|
|June 07, 2013||Nelson Cruz||Day-to-Day||Hamstring|
|June 07, 2013||Michael Kirkman||60-Day DL||Cutaneous lymphoma in right triceps|
|June 06, 2013||Alexi Ogando||15-Day DL||Right shoulder inflammation|
|June 06, 2013||Mitch Moreland||15-Day DL||Strained right hamstring|
|June 05, 2013||Mitch Moreland||Day-to-Day||Left game - strained left hamstring|
|June 01, 2013||Adrian Beltre||Day-to-Day||Left game - Left hamstring tightness|
ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) -- Toronto manager John Gibbons knew Chien-Ming Wang could help the beaten up Blue Jays pitching staff. He just didn't think it would happen this soon.
Wang won for the first time in more than a year, Colby Rasmus homered for a third straight game, and the Blue Jays completed a four-game sweep by beating the Texas Rangers 7-2 on Sunday for their fifth straight victory.
The 33-year-old Wang twice won 19 games for the New York Yankees before injuries derailed his career. He hurt his right foot in 2008 and injured his right shoulder in 2009.
In his second start with the Blue Jays, Wang (1-0) allowed seven hits in seven shutout innings to win for the first time since last June 12 with Washington. Toronto signed Wang last Tuesday to bolster a rotation with three starters on the disabled list.
"We didn't know what to expect, to be honest with you," Gibbons said. "He was one of the best in the game with (the Yankees). We got some good reports on him, otherwise he wouldn't be here. To be honest, he's pitching better than I expected of him."
Wang was 4-4 with a 2.33 ERA in nine starts this year for the Yankees' Triple-A team at Scranton-Wilkes-Barre. New York released him last week at his request, and Wang signed with the Blue Jays.
Wang finished his 99-pitch outing by getting Andrus to ground out to second with runners on first and third in the seventh. He struck out five and walked two.
"I waited for a chance to come up to the majors," Wang said. "Toronto picked me and gave me a chance to come here and play."
The Rangers lost their sixth in a row and fell to 1-6 on a season-high, 11-game homestand. Texas has dropped six straight for the first time since April 15-21, 2010.
Texas manager Ron Washington said he spoke with the team after the game, but didn't divulge his message.
"I thought they needed to hear from the manager," Washington said. "We're not the first team to lose six in a row and we probably won't be the last."
Adam Lind hit a three-run homer, and J.P. Arencibia added a two-run shot for Toronto. The Blue Jays outscored the Rangers 24-4 to sweep a four-game series at Texas for the first time.
"I keep hearing the Rangers are struggling and all that," Gibbons said. "Maybe we're pitching good. Maybe we're playing good. I get tired of hearing that. I tip my hat to my guys."
Derek Holland (5-4) allowed four runs and 10 hits in six innings for the Rangers, who have only scored eight runs in their slide.
Elvis Andrus had an RBI single, and Ian Kinsler walked with the bases loaded to break up the shutout in the ninth.
Texas has lost six in a row at home for the first time since a seven-game slide from July 20-Aug. 3, 2005.
"I didn't sense any frustration," Texas outfielder David Murphy said. "We're past that point. Things didn't happen. With the amount of talent we have here, we're very close to turning this thing around."
Arencibia, who entered the series in a 3-for-41 rut, hit his second homer in three games. He lined an 0-1 pitch just over the 14-foot fence in left, a two-run shot that gave the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.
It was the first home run Holland has given up since May 19.
Rasmus led off the fourth with a drive off the foul pole in right for his 13th homer.
The Blue Jays scored four times in the seventh to extend their lead to 7-0. Jose Bautista had an RBI single, and Lind capped it with a three-run homer to right off Kyle McClellan .
Lind went 7 for 17 in the series with two home runs and six RBIs.
Adrian Beltre and A.J. Pierzynski had consecutive one-out singles in the fourth to put runners on first and third. The Rangers, however, couldn't take advantage of that chance.
Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion made a diving catch to his right of Nelson Cruz 's liner, and David Murphy popped out to left to end the threat.
Texas rookie Jurickson Profar started at third base for the first time in his career. Beltre had a scheduled day off in the field and was the designated hitter.
Before the game, Profar spent time on the field working with infield coach Dave Anderson .
Kinsler batted third for the first time since May 22, 2011. He batted in that spot 60 times in 2010.
NOTES: Texas DH Lance Berkman had a scheduled day off. ... Lind has hit safely in 17 of 19 games. ... Rangers 1B Mitch Moreland (right hamstring strain) will start a rehab assignment for Double-A Frisco on Monday night.