Houston takes two of three
Astros grab series victory with win over Blue Jays in finale
After splitting the first two games of the series, and Houston leading the six-game season series 3-2, the Astros and Blue Jays returned to Sahlen Field in Buffalo, New York, for a decisive final matchup. Houston would come out on top, building up a lead that Luis Garcia and his bullpen could hold on to for the victory.
Final Score: Astros 6, Blue Jays 3
Astros' Record: 33-26, second in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (5-3)
Losing Pitcher: Steven Matz (6-3)
Houston builds up an early lead
Houston received an immediate lead in this one, courtesy of another leadoff home run by Jose Altuve to grab a 1-0 lead. Chas McCormick matched that to lead off the second inning, getting one of his own to double the lead. Toronto cut that in half in the bottom of the second against Luis Garcia, getting runners to second and third to set up a sac fly by Lourdes Gurriel Jr. to make it 2-1.
Houston responded in the top of the next inning, loading the bases for Kyle Tucker, who delivered a two-RBI single to grow Houston's lead to 4-1. That score held until the top of the seventh when Houston would take advantage of some defensive miscues by Toronto to load the bases. Martin Maldanado grounded into what should have been an inning-ending play but instead beat out a throw after an error to make it a 5-1 Houston lead, though they could have had more.
Garcia stays hot on the mound
Luis Garcia allowed just that one run in his six innings of work, stranding runners in scoring position in the third and fourth before sitting down the last seven batters he faced in order, four of them on strikeouts. It ended up being another excellent day for him on the mound, where if not for the four-run lead, he may have kept going for more. His final line: 6.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 2 BB, 8 K, 79 P.
Astros take the series
Brooks Raley took over out of Houston's bullpen with the four-run lead in the bottom of the seventh. He kept it there, tossing a 1-2-3 frame with a strikeout to move the game to the eighth. Alex Bregman scalded a one-out double in the top of the inning, getting into scoring position for a two-out RBI single by Yuli Gurriel to grow the lead to five runs. Raley would face one more batter, getting the first out of the bottom of the eighth.
Ryne Stanek tried to take over and finish the inning from there but created his own trouble by loading the bases on a hit batter, single, and a walk. Houston ceded a run in favor of an out on a groundout, but Toronto would bring in another on a two-out RBI single, making it a 6-3 game before Stanek would get the final out. After a scoreless top of the inning, Ryan Pressly notched the save to finish off the win in the bottom of the ninth.
Up Next: Houston will get a day off on Monday before resuming this road trip on Tuesday in Boston against the Red Sox. The first of that three-game set will start at 6:10 PM Central on Tuesday, with Framber Valdez (1-0, 1.64 ERA) for the Astros expected to go up against Martin Perez (4-2, 3.09 ERA) for the Red Sox.