HOUSTON (AP) — Matt Chapman doubled house Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with two outs within the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 4-3 Friday evening for his or her third straight win.
Chapman’s tiebreaking drive into the left-center discipline hole off reliever Héctor Neris (1-1) scored Guerrero from first base. Houston misplaced its third in a row.
“I wasn’t really trying to do too much, I just really wanted to extend the inning, get Vladdy into scoring position and just keep the inning going,” Chapman stated. “Get the next guy up. Luckily, I was able to find that gap, and Vladdy was on his horse, so it was nice to get that run.”
The Astros put runners on the corners with one out within the backside of the ninth on singles by Yuli Gurriel and Aledmys Díaz off Jordan Romano.
After Jason Castro struck out, J.J. Matijevic was despatched to the plate for his main league debut, pinch-hitting for Martín Maldonado. The lefty vs. righty matchup didn’t work out for the Astros when Romano fanned Matijevic for his eighth save.
“First and third, but he doesn’t panic,” Blue Jays supervisor Charlie Montoyo stated of Romano. “He was throwing 97-98 (mph) today. He’s been lights out. I’ve got to keep talking about him because it’s not easy to do what he’s doing. But again, pitching and defense won this game.”
Tim Mayza (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth.
Justin Verlander made his first begin in opposition to the Blue Jays since no-hitting them on Sept. 1, 2019, in Toronto. On Friday evening, he held Toronto hitless till Raimel Tapia singled to proper within the fourth inning.
Verlander went six innings and allowed three runs on 4 hits. He struck out 5 and walked one.
“My stuff was not as sharp as I’d like, just a little loose,” Verlander stated. “But you don’t have your best stuff every time out.”
The Astros took a 3-0 lead within the third on a one-out double by Maldonado that was adopted by a stroll to Jeremy Peña and singles from Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Gurriel.
“Early in the game, we didn’t have many good at-bats, but then the second go-around, the at-bats got better, and they took him out of there before we did more damage,” Astros supervisor Dusty Baker stated.
The Blue Jays tied it at 3 within the fifth on back-to-back homers from Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer. The solo photographs — each to left discipline — got here on consecutive pitches and marked the primary homers of the 12 months for each Espinal and Zimmer.
Toronto scored its first run within the fourth after Tapia led off the inning with a single and later scored on a grounder.
Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling allowed 5 hits in 4 innings, giving up three runs and putting out two.
“I’m so happy, I’m smiling,” Montoyo stated. “Not only because we’re winning, but we’re playing good defense and we’re pitching and that’s how you’re going to win. Of course, everybody talks about our hitting, but as you guys know, it’s tough to hit. But if we keep doing what we’re doing, I feel good about this team.”
Blue Jays: OF George Springer was out of the lineup after being hit in the proper wrist on Thursday. Springer stated earlier than the sport he’s hopeful to play on Saturday evening. It’s his first journey again to Houston, the place he spent seven seasons earlier than signing with Toronto in 2021.
Astros: Reliever Ryan Pressly (knee) ran on Friday, which Baker referred to as a “positive sign” and stated he’ll most likely face hitters as early as Sunday, and the staff will make an analysis from there.
GOLD GLOVES ALL AROUND
Astros 1B Gurriel was introduced his 2021 Gold Glove Award in a pregame ceremony. Additionally, the Astros obtained a staff Gold Glove as the very best defensive staff within the American League final season.
The Astros honored Maldonado with a pregame video tribute on the tenth anniversary of the catcher’s main league debut.
CHAPMAN ON VERLANDER
“It’s never an easy at-bat, but I’m always up for the task. I definitely didn’t see eight off-speed pitches coming my first at-bat. It threw me off. But that’s the thing with him, he’s unpredictable and he’s got a bunch of really good pitches.”
Blue Jays: Alek Manoah (2-0, 1.50) begins for Toronto on Saturday. He has pitched into the sixth inning in seven straight begins, giving up two runs or fewer within the final six.
Astros: Jose Urquidy (1-1, 7.00) allowed six runs and eight hits in 4 innings in an April 17 loss to Seattle.
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The Associated Press