Houston looked dominant against Toronto

Astros explode at the plate, Greinke tosses a complete game in win over Blue Jays

Houston's offense couldn't stop scoring Friday night. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

After finishing their recent homestand by winning four of the final five games, the Astros took to the road, starting with the opener of a three-game set in Buffalo against the Toronto Blue Jays Friday night. Houston began the scoring and never looked back, clobbering Toronto to back up Zack Greinke, who tossed a complete game on the mound in the win.

Final Score: Astros 13, Blue Jays 1

Astros' Record: 32-25, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (6-2)

Losing Pitcher: Hyun Jin Ryu (5-3)

Houston blows it open in the middle innings

After three quick scoreless innings to start the game, the Astros were able to start the scoring in the top of the fourth against Hyun Jin Ryu. It came after a leadoff single by Aledmys Diaz, who advanced to second on an error, went in to score on an RBI double by Yordan Alvarez to grab a 1-0 lead. Jose Altuve notched an RBI in the next inning, getting a sac fly to double the lead to 2-0. Carlos Correa added another in the next at-bat, launching a solo homer to extend the lead again, 3-0. Houston loaded the bases with one out in the top of the sixth, and with two outs, Martin Maldonado blew the game open with a grand slam, Houston's first of the season, to make it a 7-0 ballgame.

Astros keep scoring

Meanwhile, Zack Greinke was cruising along against Toronto's offense. He allowed just one hit through the first three innings and didn't allow a runner to reach scoring position until a single and walk in the fourth put two runners on, which he would both strand. He followed that with back-to-back 1-2-3 frames in the fifth and sixth as his team built up the lead behind him.

Aledmyz Diaz sent another ball over the fence in the top of the seventh, a solo homer to push the lead to 8-0. Greinke returned to the mound in the bottom of the inning and allowed his biggest mistake of the night, as Randal Grichuk destroyed a ball 459 to center field to get the Blue Jays on the board. Houston got that run back and more in the top of the eighth, sending ten batters to the plate and getting five runs on six hits, including RBIs by Maldonado and Altuve and another homer by Carlos Correa, a three-run blast to make it 13-1.

Greinke goes all the way

Greinke kept going in the bottom of the eighth, retiring Toronto in order once again. Despite the significant lead, his pitch count was in great shape, allowing him to return in the bottom of the ninth to finish things off. He did so, erasing a two-out single to get his first complete game since the 2017 season, the seventeenth of his career, to wrap up Houston's victory. Greinke's final line: 9.0 IP, 6 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 102 P.

Up Next: Houston will get a chance to lock up another series win with the middle game of this series starting at 2:07 PM Central on Saturday. Jose Urquidy (4-2, 3.02 ERA) will look to get the victory for Houston, while Toronto will send Ross Stripling (1-3, 5.11 ERA) to the mound.

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The Houston Astros haven't counted on their catchers to deliver much offensive production in recent years, with defensive specialist Martin Maldonado being their primary catcher for the last few seasons. But top hitting prospect Yainer Diaz is making a case to get more playing time behind the plate and at first, based on his ability to swing the bat.

Until recently, he hasn't been able to get any meaningful playing time. Even David Hensley, who was optioned to Sugar Land a few weeks ago, has more plate appearances than Diaz this season.

So how does manager Dusty Baker find more opportunities for Diaz? Should he use him more often as a DH, along with getting time at first base and catcher?

And what does that mean for Jose Abreu, Martin Maldonado, and to a lesser extent, former first round pick and Sugar Land Space Cowboy catcher, Korey Lee?

Plus, considering how good the Astros outfielders have been this year, does the team need to grab another bat before the trade deadline?

Don't miss the video above as we break it all down!

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