It was a strangely cool august in Houston, TX, as if the visiting team from the north had brought the weather with them. It was Lance Berkman bobblehead night. Life was pretty good when I sat down with a hotdog and drink to take in the game.
Collin McHugh faced off against former Astro J.A. Happ. The Jays gave Happ the upper hand early. Back-to-back singles from Melky Cabrera and Jose Bautista turned into a run on a Dioner Navarro sac-fly. Happ held his one-run lead by retiring the first 11 batters he faced.
The streaking Chris Carter broke the seal for Houston hitting in the fourth with a sharp single to the hole, Jose Reyes was able to get in front of the ball but couldn't get anything on the throw. Matt Dominguez walked, pushing Carter to second. Carter would race home on a bloop single from Jesus Guzman. Guzman, who started for the right-handed matchup against the left-handed Happ, left the game with back spasms. Jon Singleton replaced him at first.
Minus one miscue from Singleton at first, the defense was sharp behind McHugh. Carlos Corporan was able to whip away Singleton's error with a rare strike'em out, throw'em out double-play. New Astro Jake Marisnick looked smooth in center field as if he had been playing in Minute Maid Park for years.
Darin Downs and Jose Veras shut the down the Jays in the seventh and eighth innings. They allowed zero runners to reach base for 1.2 innings, and Veras struck out Jose Bautista looking to end the top of the eight.
Lefty Aaron Loup came in to face the Astros hitters in bottom of the eight. Gregorio Petit greeted him with his first career home run on the first pitch he saw. Jose Altuve would follow up with another first pitch rocket that bounced up against the visiting team bullpen fence. Mely Cabrera pulled a veteran move and threw up his hands to signal a ground-rule double when the ball bounced into the space between the warning track and wall padding. The ball wasn't stuck in any way shape or form. The ball had found it's way out from under the padding almost immediately after Melky had called for a dead-ball. Either way, Altuve and Robbie Grossman made it a mute point. Altuve stole third and Grossman drove him home with a long fly ball to right.
Chad Qualls closed out the game with two strikeouts to pick up his twelfth save of the season. The night was capped off by the usual friday fireworks, this time Disney themed. But, Gregorio Petit had provided the first firework of the night with his first major league home run to put the Astros in the lead for good.