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by zhangzk • 15 Posts
Toronto’s Randal Grichuk put on a show for hundreds of friends and family that made the trek up to Houston to see him play just his third career game at a ballpark only about 35 miles from his hometown of Rosenberg Andrew Norwell Jersey , Texas.
Grichuk hit a two-run homer and made a huge defensive play, helping the Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 6-3 on Monday.
”You can’t feel your body all game,” Grichuk said. ”You feel like you don’t need to stretch or get loose. It’s just as special for me as I know it is for my family.”
Toronto also got two homers from Curtis Granderson against Justin Verlander, but the night belonged to Grichuk in one special homecoming.
His soaring 471-foot home run, which clanged off the light pole above the train tracks on the left-field wall, came against Will Harris and made it 6-3 with two out in the eighth.
Grichuk then reached over the short wall in right field to rob George Springer of a homer with two on and no outs in the ninth.
”Those are the plays you dream of that you don’t really get too often,” he said. ”But exactly what you hope for happened.”
Grichuk, who moved from center to right field in the bottom of the ninth, had his back to the wall when he reached between two fans with gloves to make the grab.
Springer stopped running and bent down in disbelief when he realized Grichuk had robbed him.
”Baseball can be pretty cruel,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ”That’s a tough one. Right off the bat, I thought George got one. It carried and carried and carried and looked like he had to go pretty deep into the stands to get it.”
Granderson’s leadoff shot in the fifth tied it at 3. He connected again with two out in the seventh, belting an opposite-field drive off Verlander (9-3) into the second row in the Crawford Boxes in left field.
”I’m not a huge fan of the Crawford Boxes right now,” Verlander said. ”The one to right, I thought Curtis got pretty good. The one to left, I didn’t think he got that one very good. But it’s the ballpark we play in. It’s fair for all sides. I need to do a little bit better job.”
Verlander, who entered with a major league-best 1.60 ERA, allowed four runs and seven hits – both season highs – in 6 2/3 innings. He struck out six and walked two in his first loss since May 11.
Toronto’s J.A. Happ (10-3) yielded three runs and seven hits in six innings in his sixth straight win. Seung-hwan Oh worked the ninth for his second save.
Former Astro Teoscar Hernandez Austin Seferian-Jenkins Jersey , who received his World Series ring in a pregame ceremony, had three hits and Justin Smoak drove in two runs as the Blue Jays won their third straight.
Alex Bregman homered in the Astros’ third loss in 18 games.
Hernandez singled with one out in the first before Yangervis Solarte drew a walk. Smoak’s two-out double lifted Toronto to a 2-0 lead.
Yuli Gurriel singled in Jose Altuve in the bottom half, and Bregman’s drive to the seats in left tied it at 2 with one out in the third.
Bregman also singled in Jake Marisnick in the fourth, but the Blue Jays tied it up again when Granderson sent the third pitch of the fifth inning into the stands in right for his eighth homer this season.
Astros: RHP Joe Smith (right elbow inflammation) felt good after throwing a bullpen on Sunday and will throw one more bullpen before likely beginning a rehabilitation assignment this weekend.
Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (bruised finger on right hand) has less swelling and discomfort and will start playing catch in the next few days.
WHERE DID IT GO?
Granderson hit a foul pop in the first inning that got stuck in the park’s rafters. Catcher Max Stassi threw off his mask and looked up as he waited for it to come down, but it never did. Bregman soon trotted to the plate and started looking up to see where it was, too. Verlander held his glove over the top of his head for a few seconds, jokingly protecting himself if it happened to drop near him. Granderson and the trio of Astros then laughed, and Granderson got back in the box to resume his at-bat.
”I still have no idea what happened on that,” Granderson said. ”I’ve never hit a ball that high before.”
Charlie Morton (9-1, 2.77 ERA) pitches for Houston on Tuesday, looking for his 10th win. Morton allowed just two hits and one unearned run in six innings of a 5-1 win over Tampa Bay in his last outing. The Blue Jays have yet to announce their Tuesday starter.
Not much has gone right for Texas in the past week, but three things that the Rangers have been lacking aligned on Saturday to allow them to earn a 5-2 victory over Colorado that snapped a season-long seven-game losing streak.
First the Rangers got excellent starting pitching from Mike Minor. Then they forged a five-run rally in the seventh and eighth inning — with Adrian Beltre’s triple in the latter the coup de gras — to sweep to the lead. And lastly, Texas closer Keone Kela earned his 15th save in 15 chances to cement the win for the Rangers.
It was Texas first home win since June 6 against Oakland and the Rangers’ 12th come-from-behind victory of the season, nine of which have come in their final at-bat.
Both teams have a chance to garner a much-needed series win when they conclude the three-game interleague set on Sunday afternoon at Globe Life Park in Arlington, Texas.
The Rockies will send right-hander Jon Gray (6-7, 5.68 ERA) to the hill while Texas will counter with right-hander Yovani Gallardo (0-0, 30.86 in three games with Cincinnati) Niles Paul Jersey , who is expected to have his contract purchased in time to make his first start of 2018.
Minor matched his season high with seven innings pitched, posting his second consecutive quality start after having none in his previous five outings. Minor didn’t get the win as he left trailing in the middle of the seventh before the Rangers rallied and snapped their seven-game losing streak.
“We needed a really good start from our starter,” Texas manager Jeff Banister said. “We got that from Mike. Exceptional — probably one of the best starts he has had all year.”
Colorado has lost seven of its past nine games and 11 of its last 15. The loss on Saturday was the Rockies’ 20th this year when holding a lead at some point in the game. Up 2-0 in the seventh on Saturday, they had a chance to play add on with runners on second and third and no out and got nothing out of it.
“You try to keep pushing and keep telling yourself that you will still win the game,” right fielder Carlos Gonzalez said of the change in momentum. “But in baseball, it’s sometimes going to go that way when you don’t make them pay.”
Gray will make his 15th start of the season, his eighth on the road and his second on the current trip. He has a 2-3 record with a 7.98 ERA in his past six starts after a 5-4 loss at Philadelphia on Tuesday. He will make his first career start against Texas.
Gallardo, a 12-year veteran and a 13-game winner for the Rangers in 2015, was signed to a minor league contract by Texas on April 13. He was 2-1 with a 3.81 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Round Rock and will be making his first MLB start since Sept. 2, 2017.
Gallardo could have opted to enter free agency if he was not called up by Friday.
“Through all the reports (Gallardo) was commanding the baseball and controlling the strike zone, competing, getting hitters out,” Banister said. “All those factors allow him to come up and compete for us.”
Gallardo was 2-0 with a 2.50 ERA over his last three starts with the Express. He is winless in 11 career starts versus the Rockies, going 0-6 with 6.14 ERA.