Astros thump Blue Jays in game one of three

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 4 hits from the 15-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

With a day off on Thursday, the Astros were back at Minute Maid Park on Friday night to host a Father's Day weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays. Gerrit Cole was on the mound for Houston hoping to repeat the success of his seven-inning fourteen-strikeout start he had last time out. Here's how the first game of the series went:

Final Score: Astros 15, Blue Jays 2.

Record: 47-23, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.67 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Aaron Sanchez (3-8, 5.04 ERA).

1) Taking a commanding early lead, tacking on more late

After the Blue Jays loaded the bases in the top of the first and came away empty, the Astros would have no such problem, scoring three runs in the bottom of the first including a bases-loaded two-RBI single by Robinson Chirinos to start the scoring for the night. Josh Reddick was next up and provided a sacrifice fly to make it a 3-0 lead after one.

They kept scoring in the next two innings, getting a three-run home run from Alex Bregman in the bottom of the second to make it 6-0, then a two-run homer by Tony Kemp in the bottom of the third to extend the lead to 8-0.

Up 10-2 in the eighth inning, the Astros tacked on more runs for good measure, loading the bases before an RBI-walk from Yordan Alvarez followed immediately by a grand slam from Robinson Chirinos to make it a 15-2 Houston lead.

2) Alvarez goes 3 for 4 with a home run and RBI-walk

Yordan Alvarez made it three out of four games with a home run in the bottom of the fourth, launching a mammoth two-run dinger to make it a 10-0 lead after four innings. He also hit two singles, one in the bottom of the first then another in the bottom of the sixth. He'd get a chance for some more RBIs in the bottom of the eighth with the bases loaded, but would have to settle for a walk to give him his third RBI of the night.

The home run made it three out of his first four games with a home run, the first to do so in Astros franchise history. The 3 RBIs in the game brought his total to 7 over four games, and he also increased his average to .385.

3) Cole with another double-digit strikeout start

Gerrit Cole encountered some trouble in the first inning, loading the bases after a hit batter, a walk, and a single, but would be able to get out of the trouble without allowing a run. He settled in after that, only faltering in the fifth by allowing a leadoff walk, one-out single, then a two-RBI double to Cavan Biggio, son of Hall of Fame member Craig, to trim the large lead to 10-2.

Cole would still manage to complete six innings and record another double-digit strikeout inning with ten. His final line: 6 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 10 K.

4) Armenteros makes his debut and finishes last three innings

With the eight-run lead, Gerrit Cole wasn't asked to extend himself past the sixth inning getting close to 100 pitches, so after the fourteen-inning affair on Wednesday night, the Astros went to the fresher arm of Rogelio Armenteros to make his MLB-debut in the top of the seventh.

Armenteros did well, working around a leadoff single in the seventh which was his only one of two hits allowed en route to three scoreless innings including three strikeouts.

Up Next: This series will continue tomorrow afternoon with the game starting at 3:10 PM. Framber Valdez (2-2, 2.73 ERA) will have the chance for another start on the mound for Houston and will go against Clayton Richard (0-2, 7.04 ERA) for Toronto.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

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