- Associated Press - Saturday, July 19, 2014

TORONTO (AP) - Marcus Stroman bounced back from his worst start of the season with a strong effort to begin the second half.

The rookie right-hander pitched seven shutout innings to stop a three-start winless streak, Dan Johnson had two RBIs and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Texas Rangers 4-1 Saturday.

Melky Cabrera had three hits as the Blue Jays won for the first time in four games.Toronto had lost nine of 11 coming in.

Stroman (5-2) allowed four hits, all singles, walked none and struck out five, improving to 4-1 with a 1.73 ERA in six home starts.

“Since he’s been here, he’s been really good, especially for a young kid,” Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. “He’s a lot more polished than I thought he was going to be.”

Stroman allowed a season-high five runs in 3 2-3 innings against the Angels on July 9, matching his shortest start this season, but rebounded against the struggling Rangers.

“I was excited to get back on the mound,” Stroman said.

Stroman’s most challenging inning was the fourth, which began with singles by Daniel Robertson and Adrian Beltre. Unfazed, Stroman struck out Jake Smolinski and Leonys Martin, then got J.P. Arencibia to ground into a forceout.

“That definitely pumped me up going into the next inning,” Stroman said.

Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single off Dustin McGowan in the eighth, but the Rangers left the bases loaded when McGowan struck out Smolinski.

With regular closer Casey Janssen unavailable because of illness, Aaron Loup got three outs for his third save in six chances.

Texas, which stopped an eight-game losing streak with Friday’s 5-1 victory, has not strung together consecutive wins since beating Minnesota on June 27 and 28 and has the worst record in the major leagues at 39-58.

Colby Lewis (6-7) gave up two runs and eight hits in five innings. In his previous start, he allowed a team-record 13 runs - 11 earned - in 2 1-3 innings during a July 10 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

I felt like my stuff was great,” Lewis said. “I was able to locate, especially a lot of the off-speed stuff. The changeup was really good today.”

Lewis was less happy with Blue Jays outfielder Colby Rasmus, who bunted for a base hit with two outs in the fifth, then endured a verbal barrage from the Rangers righty.

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