ARLINGTON -- The Blue Jays will do the best they can to completely forget about an unfortunate series in Texas that likely represents a new low for the season.
Toronto entered a three-game set in Arlington looking to see how it matched up against the American League's best team. The end results were anything but encouraging.
The Blue Jays were easily swept out of town as Kyle Drabek surrendered a career-high nine runs in just three innings en route to a 12-6 loss on Sunday afternoon at the Ballpark in Arlington.
"Had to show up for the team, and I didn't do that," said Drabek, whose team has lost five consecutive games. "We needed a big win, to go home with a win. We ended up getting some runs, but I just wasn't there for the team."
The Blue Jays entered the game needing an extended outing from Drabek after using their bullpen for 13 2/3 innings during the first two games of the series. That plan quickly came unglued as Toronto's recent struggles on the mound continued with Drabek recording his worst outing of the season.
Drabek's issues began in the second inning and were once again tied to an overall lack of command. Toronto's No. 4 hurler began the frame by surrendering a single to Michael Young and followed that by walking three of the next four batters.
The game then started to get out of hand as Ian Kinsler and Elvis Andrus recorded back-to-back two-run doubles to put the Rangers ahead, 5-0. Adrian Beltre later followed with a two-run homer for his 10th of the season, which capped the seven-run frame. It marked the fourth time this season the Rangers have scored seven or more in one inning and it was the most they have scored in one frame at home.
Drabek was forced to come back out for the third because of Toronto's lack of options in the bullpen, and things didn't get much better. The third-year hurler surrendered a two-run shot to Kinsler, one of 10 home runs Toronto pitchers gave up in the three-game series. Drabek was removed after the inning and was charged with nine runs on eight hits and three walks in his shortest outing of the season.
"I'll forget about it, but I need to learn from it," said Drabek, whose ERA sits at 4.55. "I need to go back from square one in Spring Training, maybe get the ropes back out there, figure something out because doing that is not going to help the team any.
"I don't think it was mechanical, but it's going back to where I'm cutting the ball and have to find that command I had in Spring Training."
The lackluster performance by a Blue Jays starter was pretty much par for the course in this series. Toronto's rotation combined to post an 18.33 ERA during the series and the club was outscored, 34-16.
Texas entered the series with the league's top-ranked offense but one that scored just seven runs in its previous three games vs. Seattle. The lack of production turned around in a hurry.
"Everyone in this lineup has accomplished a lot," Rangers infielder Michael Young said. "We all know what we're capable of doing. We'll go through stretches where things don't go your way. You battle through it. You pound through it. In the end, you're better for it."
Jesse Chavez, who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas prior to the game, helped stop the bleeding by allowing three runs and striking out seven in five strong innings, but it was far too little, too late.
J.P. Arencibia added a pair of solo home runs for his second multi-homer game of the year while Colby Rasmus hit a two-run shot, but all of it came in a game that was out of hand by the second inning. Rangers starter Yu Darvish picked up his seventh win after surrendering three runs on seven hits in five frames.
Toronto's six-game road trip was supposed to be a measure of how far the club has come since the beginning of the year. Instead the Blue Jays finished 1-5 against postseason contenders Tampa Bay and Texas, but outfielder Jose Bautista doesn't read too much into the recent slump.
"I wouldn't dwell on it too much," said Bautista, who went 0-for-4 with an RBI. "It was just a bad road trip. It's happened before and it will happen again. We just have to go home and focus on who we have coming in and try to beat them.
"To me, this road trip, or any other road trip, is no measuring stick for how the rest of the season is going to go. Again, those games are over, we can't go back in time and change them. We just have to win tomorrow night."
The road to recovery begins Monday night as the Blue Jays open a three-game set against the Orioles. That will be followed by three more at home against Boston as the club tries to turn things around at Rogers Centre.
"We've gone through a turn in the rotation where it certainly has been less than we've pitched the previous 35 ballgames this season," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said. "It's obviously taxed our bullpen a lot. We've got to get back to what has made this group of five successful, and that's pitching ahead in the count, not issuing the number of base on balls that we've gone through in this stretch.
"We've got to get back to playing the type of baseball that we've had. That's the starters controlling it from the outset and giving our offense a chance to get on track."