TORONTO -- Left-hander Brett Cecil had the Texas Rangers stumped at times again Friday, only five days after he had shut them out on four hits.
But the Rangers weren't totally fooled this time. They collected seven hits in seven innings against Cecil and held a lead for half the game.
It was the hits they didn't get. Not even hits, really.
The Rangers twice missed chances to score against Cecil. Those plays, and a rough fifth inning by Alexi Ogando, proved to be the difference in a 3-2 loss.
Manager Ron Washington pointed to two sequences -- Mitch Moreland failing to get a ball out of the infield with a runner at third in the fourth, and Endy Chavez failing to deliver a sacrifice bunt after the first two batters reached in the sixth.
"It was execution tonight," Washington said. "There's the game right there. It's those little things that usually come back to haunt you, and they came back to haunt us tonight."
Ogando lasted only 52/3 innings on a muggy night when the Rogers Centre roof was open. At least he got to town at a reasonable hour Thursday, while the rest of his team didn't get to the hotel until 5:15 a.m. Friday.
He didn't breeze through the first four innings. The Blue Jays had runners at second base in the second and the fourth but couldn't score, and Nelson Cruz had given the Rangers a 1-0 lead in the second with a rocket that zipped over the left-field wall.
But it could have been more of a lead. The Rangers had runners at first and third with one out in the fourth, but Moreland popped out to the catcher and Yorvit Torrealba struck out.
Moreland, said Washington, tried to "serve" a pitch into the outfield for a sacrifice fly or hit rather than trying to drive it.
"If you're going to go for it, let it go," Washington said.
Chavez was in the game in the sixth because Cruz had been removed with tightness in his left quadriceps muscle. Washington said the move was precautionary and that Cruz passed all tests afterward. He still might not play again this weekend on the FieldTurf.
Josh Hamilton and Michael Young had singled ahead of Chavez, who was asked to move the runners to second and third with a bunt. He got the bunt down, but it was a one-hopper to Cecil.
Hamilton was an easy out at third base, and the inning fizzled.
"When Chavez came up, it was in our favor because he can bunt," Washington said. "It gives us an opportunity to at least scratch one of them there, if not both. But it wasn't a successful bunt."
A run would have cut into the 3-1 lead the Blue Jays grabbed in the fifth. The first two Toronto hitters singled against Ogando, and J.P. Arencibia followed with a three-run shot.
That was it for the Blue Jays, who had only one single the rest of the way against Ogando and Tommy Hunter.
"He did great tonight," second baseman Ian Kinsler said of Ogando, who failed in a second attempt for his 11th victory. "He made one mistake, and we couldn't rebound. Offensively we should have been better."
Mike Napoli homered to start the ninth, a run that Washington believed should have put the Rangers ahead. But a breakdown in fundamentals prevented that.
"Over the course of the season, those are the things that you need to bear down on," said Young, who was 3 for 4. "Those are the things that are going to lead to long hot streaks. If you have any funk, it's going to help us snap out of it. If we do that, we're going to have our big innings."
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760