TORONTO (AP) — After going more than a full season without a road win, Andrew Cashner gave the struggling Texas Rangers a vital victory away from home.
Cashner pitched seven strong innings and Joey Gallo hit his 15th home run as the Rangers beat the Toronto Blue Jays 3-1 Sunday, snapping their longest losing streak of the season at five.
Cashner, who missed most of spring training with a sore right biceps, has won two of his past three starts.
“Tremendous job by him today,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “He continues to get stronger with every outing.”
He’s throwing harder, too.
“Early in the season I was still looking for strength,” he said. “The last outing I had some (velocity) and it was definitely there today in some big spots.”
Cashner (2-4) gave up one run and five hits. The right-hander had been 0-9 in 18 road starts since September 2015.
“The biggest thing for Cash today was the ability to go up and down with the fastball, in and out with the fastball, and back it up with the changeup-curveball combo,” Banister said.
Cashner is 10-31 with a 4.83 ERA in 110 road games, 62 starts.
Toronto had won five in a row.
“We just couldn’t get anything going against Cashner,” manager John Gibbons said.
Keone Kela pitched the eighth. Matt Bush gave up a pair of singles in the ninth but held on for his sixth save.
Gallo hit an opposite field solo shot to left off Joe Biagini (1-3) in the fourth, his eighth homer in May.
“It was out of the zone,” Gallo said, “but if I can get a good swing on it, I’ll take it.”
Gallo has connected in 10 of his past 23 games and ranks third among AL home run leaders, one behind Mike Trout of the Angels and Aaron Judge of the Yankees.
“This big guy can hit a ball out of any part of the ballpark, foul pole to foul pole,” Banister said.
Elvis Andrus had three hits and scored twice as the Rangers improved to 9-18 on the road.
Making his fifth start since joining the rotation earlier this month, Biagini allowed two runs and seven hits in a career-high six innings. His seven strikeouts were also were a personal best.
“It was important for me to see myself be able to handle the workload,” Biagini said.
Toronto got a run in the first when Kevin Pillar hit a leadoff double and later scored on Jose Bautista’s sacrifice fly.
Texas tied it in the third when Andrus singled and stole second before coming around on Jonathan Lucroy’s two-out single. Andrus added an insurance run when he scored on Dominic Leone’s wild pitch in the seventh.
Toronto went 0 for 7 with runners in scoring position against Cashner, who has held opposing batters to a 3-for-39 (.077) mark in such situations.
MANY HAPP-Y RETURNS
Blue Jays LHP J.A. Happ (elbow) arrived in the clubhouse following the game and was scheduled to throw a bullpen session, indicating he could be activated to face Cincinnati on Tuesday. Happ made his first rehab start with Class A Dunedin last Thursday, allowing three runs and seven hits in three innings.
Toronto’s Devon Travis extended his hitting streak to 12 games with a single in the fifth. He’s batting 22-for-48 (.458) over that stretch.
Rangers: LHP Dario Alvarez was put on the 10-day DL, retroactive to May 26, because of a strained left elbow. Texas recalled INF-OF Drew Robinson from Triple-A Round Rock.
Blue Jays: LHP Francisco Liriano (shoulder) was scheduled to make his first minor league rehab start for Triple-A Buffalo on Sunday night. … 3B Josh Donaldson and SS Troy Tulowitzki returned to the lineup after getting the day off Saturday.
Rangers: Texas returns home Monday to begin a three-game series against Tampa Bay. LHP Martin Perez (2-5, 3.77) threw a season-high 113 pitches in his previous start, his highest total since undergoing elbow ligament replacement surgery in 2014. RHP Erasmo Ramirez (3-0, 3.00) starts for the Rays.
Blue Jays: RHP Marcus Stroman (5-2, 3.30) starts the opener of a three-game interleague series against Cincinnati. Stroman is 4-0 with a 2.95 ERA over his past seven starts. RHP Lisalverto Bonilla (0-2, 6.17) starts for the Reds.
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball