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TOR@TEX: Arencibia belts a solo shot in the sixth

ARLINGTON -- Jo-Jo Reyes' lack of command continues to haunt the left-hander during his first season as a starter in the Blue Jays' rotation.

The 26-year-old has had trouble keeping the ball down in the zone, and it cost him again on Friday night.

Reyes struggled with his location as he surrendered eight runs in a lopsided 12-2 loss to the Rangers at the Ballpark in Arlington.

"There were a number of pitches that found their way to the middle of the plate and they didn't miss them," said Blue Jays manager John Farrell, whose team had its mini winning streak snapped at three.

"A lot of good swings, a lot of hard contact, and once an inning got underway there was at least the inability to go to a pitch to slow them down -- and they took a number of good swings."

Reyes surrendered those eight runs in just 4 1/3 innings. He allowed eight hits while walking one. He now has an 8.61 ERA in his past six starts while posting a 1.91 WHIP.

Despite the recent woes, Farrell wasn't prepared to talk about Reyes' future role with the club. The native of California is out of options on his contract and must remain on the 25-man roster or the club risks losing him to another team through the waiver process.

At least for now, Reyes remains entrenched in Toronto's starting five.

"We just got done five minutes ago," Farrell said when asked about Reyes' status. "We've got to regroup, prepare for tomorrow and put together another solid game."

Reyes got off to a decent start against Texas by retiring the first three batters he faced, but things started to unravel in the second.

He allowed the first two batters in the inning to reach base before outfielder Nelson Cruz delivered an RBI double. Mike Napoli would later add an RBI to stake Texas to an early 2-0 lead.

The problems continued in the fourth. Reyes once again allowed the first two batters to reach base and set the table for Cruz. The Rangers slugger responded with a three-run homer to center field for his 22nd of the year.

Reyes came back out to start the fifth but wasn't able to pitch his way out of the inning. He allowed one more run on an RBI single by Adrian Beltre before departing with a pair of runners on base and one out.

"It wasn't a matter of throwing strikes, it was where those strikes were located," Farrell said of Reyes, who threw 55 of his 87 pitches for strikes. "In the middle of the plate against this team, [which] is swinging the bat very good and playing very good baseball, that's what going to happen."

Shawn Camp entered the game but didn't fare much better. He surrendered an additional four runs in 1 2/3 innings as Texas began to set some personal milestones.

Cruz recorded four hits and set a career high with eight RBIs. The eight runs he drove in were one behind Ivan Rodriguez's club-record nine-RBI game on April 13, 1999. Designated hitter Michael Young also recorded four hits and matched a career high with four runs scored.

"I did a good job of keeping it down to certain guys, but certain guys a couple of pitches were up," said Reyes, who is now 5-8 with a 5.40 ERA. "Sometimes they hit good pitches, too.

"They're not just a Joe Schmo team. They're a good team, they've been on a roll and I just have to do a better job of pitching overall."

Right-hander Colby Lewis put forth a dominating performance for the Rangers. He allowed just one run on two hits while striking out five in 6 2/3 innings.

That was a continuation of his recent string of success. The 31-year-old is now 5-0 with a 2.22 ERA in his past seven starts. Lewis has held opponents to a .169 average over that span to lower his season average to .232.

"He had great command tonight, and he used his breaking ball, his fastball, his changeup down in the zone," said Rangers manager Ron Washington, whose club has now won 13 of its past 15. "He certainly didn't make many mistakes.

"He was very consistent hitting his spots tonight, and he really didn't work very hard."

J.P. Arencibia provided the lone bright spot for the Blue Jays. Lewis carried a no-hitter into the sixth inning before he surrendered a solo home run to Toronto's catcher. It was Arencibia's 13th home run of the season -- first since June 30 -- and snapped an 0-for-16 skid.

Arencibia added his 14th home run in the eighth inning on a solo shot off left-hander Arthur Rhodes. It was the third multihomer game of Arencibia's career and his second this season.

But the impressive night at the plate didn't provide any kind of relief to Arencibia. After the game, he was more focused on what went wrong when he was behind the plate.

"I'm not worried about that," Arencibia said of his offense. "I'm just worried about the runs we gave up tonight. My job is to give our team an opportunity to win every game back there, and they scored too many runs. So, that means nothing.

"I know I can hit. Everyone's going to struggle, it's part of the game. My duty is to keep those guys from hitting home plate, and obviously we didn't do that tonight." Comments