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Game Recap: Astros Closing In: Take Opener in Toronto 5-3

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Magic number to clinch down to two.

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports

May you be blessed with enough.

That is what the Astros had tonight, enough.

Five runs on 10 hits, the major damage back to back home runs by Brian McCann, his first since June, and Josh Reddick, in the second inning.

Here’s the McCannonball.

And just enough pitching.

Dallas Keuchel continued his shaky pitching for the last month or so. Since August 18th his ERA before tonight has been 4.75, with a WHIP of 1.46. With three earned runs and ten base runners in five innings those numbers did not improve tonight.

And yet he gave enough, showing veteran grit and poise in the fifth when he allowed, miraculously, only one run. That inning started with three hits and a walk, one run scored, bases loaded and no outs.

Facing Toronto’s toughest hitter, Keuchel got Justin Smoak to strike out looking on a 3-2 count, doing his best Keuchelangelo imitation with a ball painted just at the knees.

The next batter hit a patented Keuchel grounder to third baseman J. D. Davis, who threw home for the force out.

Keuchel then ended the threat with a strikeout of Kevin Pillar. What looked like an inning in which the Blue Jays could have blown the game open, was in fact one in which the Astros kept their narrow lead, never to be relinquished. Keuchel had enough, exactly enough, exactly when he needed it. Three runs in five innings is not a great line, but tonight Keuchel really deserved the W after his name. His record for the season in 12-11.

Besides the homers in the second, the Astros scored one run in the first when Player of the Week, Yuli Gurriel, singled home George Springer, who opened the game with a first pitch double.

In the third Alex Bregman got his first RBI since the beginning of the recent home stand with a double, scoring Jose Altuve, who along with Gurriel, had a multi hit game.

In the ninth Altuve would provide welcome insurance, singling home Jake Marisnick , who had doubled earlier in the inning

The Blue Jays scored their other runs on a two run homer by Kevin Pillar in the fourth, ,scoring Justin Smoak, who doubled earlier.

Following Keuchel’s exit in the fifth inning, the bulk of the Astros bullpen got a look tonight, with Joe Smith, Will Harris, Tony Sipp, Brad Peacock, Ryan Pressly, and Roberto Osuna combining for four innings of shutout ball. Osuna got the save, his 19th.

Tomorrow the exciting rookie, Astro Josh James, faces Joseph Gaviglio

Game time 6:07 CDT.

Box score and videos here.