Murphy sparks Rangers; Padilla shuts down Blue Jays

TORONTO (AP) -- Vicente Padilla's terrific outing and a team approach helped the Texas Rangers beat a tough opponent.

Padilla pitched seven innings, David Murphy had three doubles and the Rangers beat Toronto right-hander Roy Halladay 4-1 on Thursday night, handing the Blue Jays their fifth straight home defeat.

Murphy went 3-for-4 with three doubles. He scored twice and drove in a run, helping Texas win its second straight following a five-game losing streak.

"It's safe to say that tonight was probably the best game that we've played together as a team so far in this short season," Murphy said. "It all started with Padilla. He just did such a good job, he stayed in the strike zone and he was keeping their hitters off-balance. That was huge."

Rangers manager Ron Washington praised his team for coming together to beat Halladay.

"We faced one of the best in the business tonight," Washington said. "We played great defense, we pitched, we had timely hitting, we ran the bases. We did everything we had to do to win that ballgame."

Padilla (2-1) allowed one run and seven hits with three walks and two strikeouts.

"He was awesome," Frank Catalanotto said. "He had really good stuff tonight and he went right after the hitters."

The last time Toronto dropped five straight at home was April 20-24, 2005.

One night after 16 pitchers were needed for a 14-inning game that took 4 hours, 53 minutes, this one was gentler on the bullpens. Halladay went the distance for Toronto, while Jamey Wright pitched the eighth for Texas before handing it over to C.J. Wilson, who worked the ninth for his fifth save, second in as many games.

"I knew that the bullpen worked a lot last night so I was trying to go as far as I could," Padilla said through an interpreter.

That was just fine for Washington and the Rangers.

"[Padilla] doing what he did gave us an opportunity to use the pitchers that we wanted to use tonight if we had to," Washington said. "The only two we wanted to use are the only two we did use."

Halladay (2-2) lost for the first time in three starts, allowing four runs and 11 hits. He walked one and struck out six.

In 19 career games against Texas, Halladay is 7-6 with a 5.34 ERA, his second-highest earned-run average against an American League opponent. He has a 5.35 ERA in 11 games against Oakland.

Halladay pitched a complete-game six-hitter against Texas last Saturday, giving up just one run, but wasn't so lucky this time around.

"He had some bad luck," Catalanotto said. "We got some cheap hits, some broken-bat hits. We didn't really square up a lot of balls but we got the big hit at the right time."

A downcast Halladay also felt fate was against him.

"A couple of mistakes, a couple of balls that found the right spots," Halladay said. "That's a tough combination in a close game."

The Rangers opened the scoring in the second when Murphy doubled home Milton Bradley and then added another run in the fourth when Kinsler singled, stole second and scored on a base hit by Catalanotto.

Murphy doubled and scored on singles by Gerald Laird in both the seventh and the ninth.

Toronto's lone run came in the seventh when Gregg Zaun doubled, went to third on a grounder and scored on David Eckstein's two-out single.

Kinsler had three hits and has reached base safely in all of Texas' 16 games.

The Rangers won despite playing without third baseman Hank Blalock (stiff back) and shortstop Michael Young (right calf). Both are expected back for a weekend series in Boston.

Game notes
Texas grounded into three double plays and Toronto grounded into two. ... The Rangers put outfielder Marlon Byrd (left knee) on the 15-day DL and purchased the contract of infielder German Duran from Triple-A Oklahoma. ... Toronto put right-hander Brian Wolfe (strained right triceps) on the 15-day DL and recalled left-hander David Purcey from Triple-A Syracuse. Purcey will make his major-league debut against Detroit Friday in place of A.J. Burnett, who was pushed back to Sunday after pitching in relief Wednesday.