TORONTO – Blue Jays outfielder Melky Cabrera was already hitting well before the All-Star break. He has been even better since his return.
Cabrera hit a tiebreaking homer in the seventh inning and finished with three RBIs in Toronto’s 9-6 win over the Texas Rangers 9-6 on Sunday.
“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 had three hits for the second straight day, giving him 13 multihit 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.
“Cabrera is a good hitter,” Rangers manager Ron Washington said.
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.
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.
“Every time we scored, we just couldn’t stop them,” Washington said.
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. Kawasaki finished the game 2-for-5.
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.
Red Sox 6, Royals 0
In Boston, Jon Lester allowed no earned runs for the third time in four starts, and the Red Sox completed a three-game sweep of Kansas City.
Lester extended his scoreless streak to 14 innings before Junichi Tazawa got the first out of the ninth. Edward Mujica retired the next two batters.
Norichika Aoki went 0-for-3 for the Royals.
Rays 5, Twins 3
In Minneapolis, James Loney had two hits and two RBIs, and Chris Archer won consecutive decisions for the first time this season.
Athletics 10, Orioles 2
In Oakland, Sonny Gray struck out eight to win his fifth consecutive decision.
Tigers 5, Indians 1
In Detroit, Drew Smyly allowed four hits in seven innings, and Torii Hunter hit a two-run homer, helping the Tigers beat Cleveland and avoid a four-game sweep.
Astros 11, White Sox 7
In Chicago, Matt Dominguez hit a two-run homer and a tiebreaking RBI double, and Houston tied its season high with 17 hits.
Angels 6, Mariners 5
In Anaheim, Grant Green hit a bases-loaded single off Fernando Rodney with two outs in the ninth inning after Albert Pujols tied it with an RBI double.
Dodgers 4, Cardinals 3
In St. Louis, Adrian Gonzalez hit a tiebreaking single in the ninth off Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.
Padres 2, Mets 1
In San Diego, Odrisamer Despaigne came within four outs of the first no-hitter in the Padres’ 46-year major league history, and the home team beat the Mets on Seth Smith’s run-scoring infield single in the ninth.
Marlins 3, Giants 2
In Miami, NL hits leader Casey McGehee homered for the second time this season, and the Marlins took the lead for good on a wild pitch by Tim Lincecum in the seventh.
Pirates 5, Rockies 3
In Pittsburgh, Andrew McCutchen hit a tiebreaking single in the seventh inning, and Neil Walker followed with a home run.
Nationals 5, Brewers 4
In Washington, Jayson Werth hit a game-winning RBI double in the bottom of the ninth after the Brewers tied it in the top of the inning.
Braves 8, Phillies 2
In Atlanta, Tommy La Stella drove in three runs, and Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer to back Alex Wood.
Diamondbacks 3, Cubs 2
In Phoenix, Josh Collmenter threw seven sharp innings and Arizona scored on an unusual play in the sixth inning.
Yankees 3, Reds 2
In New York, Jacoby Ellsbury got four hits and scored the winning run in the ninth on Brian McCann’s pop-fly single that dropped near three Reds in shallow right field.
Ichiro Suzuki finished 1-for-4 for the Yankees.