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Guerrero Jr., Panik sink the Astros on a 6-2 loss to Blue Jays

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The Astros couldn’t make it two in a row vs Toronto.

Houston Astros v Toronto Blue Jays Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images

On Saturday, the Blue Jays got their revenge against the Astros and registered 11 hits and two home runs en route to a 6-2 win. This time, and after cruising in May, José Urquidy couldn’t hold opponents despite a good initial third of the game.

Urquidy was brilliant throughout the first three innings, constantly pounding the strike zone and touching a higher velocity with his fastball than average. He struck out three and got three hits, but didn’t have trouble getting to the fourth episode, when everything went wrong.

Right after the Astros scored their first run of the game (thanks to a bases-loaded walk to Myles Straw) opening the fourth, the Blue Jays ambushed the young righty. Urquidy surrendered singles to Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Teoscar Hernández, and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., who drove in the tying run. Then, Joe Panik followed Gurriel Jr. with a three-run homer.

In the fifth, Guerrero Jr. ended Urquidy’s outing with a two-run bomb for his league-leading 18th goner of the regular season. The Astros’ starter lasted 4 1/3 innings and allowed nine hits (two left the park) and six earned runs, while striking out five opponents. He took the loss (4-3) and raised his ERA to 3.76. It was his second-shortest performance of 2021.

The good grades belong to the bullpen and Carlos Correa. Their relievers —Enoli Paredes, Joe Smith, and Blake Taylor— finished the game with 3 2/3 scoreless frames of two hits, three walks, and five punchouts.

Regarding Correa, the shortstop has been lights out offensively lately. He was one of the few Astros’ hitters that didn’t look off against Ross Stripling, who pitched five innings of seven-hit, one-run ball. Correa went 3-for-4 with three singles to extend his good moment at the plate. In 21 games since May 12, he’s hitting .368 (28-for-76) with six doubles, five home runs, 16 RBIs, 19 scored runs, and 19 walks.

On Sunday (1:07 pm ET), the Astros will try to win the series vs the Blue Jays with Luis García on the mound. Lefty Steven Matz is scheduled to be his counterpart.

Injury note: Aledmys Díaz left the game after being hit by a 92.1-mph fastball from Stripling on his left hand. According to the team, he has a contusion and is undergoing X-rays. Díaz has been extremely valuable for the Astros this year and, before this game, was carrying a five-game hitting streak — he went 0-for-1 today.

MLB: Houston Astros at Toronto Blue Jays Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports

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