ARLINGTON -- Kyle Drabek approached Monday night's first start in his home state with the attitude of staying relaxed, just like his teammates and pitching coaches told him to do.
The rookie right-hander did just that, and long enough, to let his teammates get the offense cranked up with one massive inning in Monday night's 6-4 victory over the Rangers, who came in with the American League's best record.
The loss ended a two-game losing streak for the Blue Jays, who opened a 10-game road trip at the Ballpark in Arlington.
Drabek put up zeroes up for the first four innings, and Toronto's offense responded with a three-homer, six-run fifth against Texas starter Colby Lewis. The Blue Jays entered Monday having scored two runs or fewer in five of their last eight games, including Sunday's 2-0 loss to the Rays.
Corey Patterson, Jose Bautista and Juan Rivera all went deep in the fifth. Patterson and Bautista went back to back, the big blow Patterson's three-run homer on an 0-2 fastball to give the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.
Toronto had managed three hits off Lewis in the first four innings. But Travis Snider, batting .167 coming in, managed a leadoff walk. Then after two flyouts, Yunel Escobar singled up the middle.
Patterson fell behind 0-2 in the count before hitting a high fastball out of the zone over the right-field fence. It was probably a waste pitch from Lewis, and Patterson hammered it.
"As long as you're seeing the ball well and you're relaxed before you step in that box, you'll be surprised what your body can do," Patterson said. "If I had swung and missed or popped it up, somebody would have said get the ball down. I don't worry about that."
Patterson revived the Blue Jays' slumping offense. Bautista, the one Toronto hitter on a tear, followed by blasting the first pitch he saw from Lewis for his Major League-leading eighth homer and a 4-0 lead. Then after Adam Lind walked, Rivera drove an 0-1 pitch the other way to right field for a 6-0 lead.
"We definitely need to help [Jose] out," Patterson said. "That's what we have to do. Tonight it seemed like I was able to jump-start the team."
Drabek, who snapped a streak of three straight no-decisions, allowed two early baserunners on a walk and single in the first, but induced a key double play from Michael Young to thwart Texas' first-inning rally. Drabek then retired the next 10 before Yorvit Torrealba hit a two-out home run in the fifth to make it 6-1.
Drabek pitches off his fastball, and did his best to slow down the game. He had two strikeouts and two walks in six innings.
"He's got good stuff," Young said. "He threw a good cutter, a good sinker, breaking ball and changeup. He had good stuff and that's what we heard coming in. He did well."
Drabek also induced a crucial double play in front of Torrealba's homer. Drabek got 13 of his 18 outs on ground balls.
"It's always good to get double-play balls," Drabek said. "The guys were making the plays behind me."
Drabek did give up two more runs in the sixth on RBI doubles by Ian Kinsler and Young. But the rookie right-hander induced groundouts by sluggers Adrian Beltre and Nelson Cruz to get out of the inning.
"I was getting to my pitch count," Drabek said, "and I started getting amped up and trying to do too much. It kind of hurt me a little bit."
It was still a proud achievement for the Texas native from the Houston area.
"It's nice. It's always nice to get one," Drabek said. "It's a little more special that it came in my home state."
Todd Wills is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.