The Astros just don’t seem to want to get their noses over the level mark.
Every time the Astros have won a game this year to get to within one game of .500, they lost the next game. Tonight was no different, as Astros starter Jose Urquidy could not hold the potent Jays lineup, and the Astros were unable to mount much offense of their own.
Urquidy was cruising through the first three innings until Vladimir Guerrero started the scoring in the fourth with an opposite-field homer to right. Not to be outdone league-leading slugger Matt Chapman followed soon after with another solo shot to right.
The Jays added two more runs in the fifth on a walk and three singles. Urquidy was removed with one out, and Bryan Abreu came in and limited the damage with two quick outs.
The Astros mounted a threat in the eighth when, with one out, Mauricio Dubon beat out an infield hit, (keeping his 13-game hitting streak alive) followed by an Alex Bregman single that skipped off the glove of third baseman Chapman. The Jays brought in lefty Jay Mayza to face Yordan Alvarez, who promptly smoked a single to right, scoring Dubon. Alvarez twisted his ankle on the swing and had to leave the game.
Jose Abreu flied out deeply to right center and then...Tucker.
Kyle Tucker hit a foul tip off his knee that put him on his knees in agony for several minutes. It seemed he would have to leave the game, but he went back to the batter’s box still limping, and promptly hit his own RBI single to right. However, Jeremy Peña ended the inning with a flyout off Jordan Romano.
Although Pressly was impressive in a 1-2-3 ninth, the Astros went down quietly in the bottom of the inning to return to their accustomed two games under .500.
Jose Urquidy went 4.1 innings, allowing four runs on seven hits and two walks, with four Ks. His relief, Bryan Abreu, (1.2 innings), Hector Neris, Rafael Montero, and Pressly all held the Jays without a run.
The Astros managed eight hits, but only one extra-base hit, a double by Alex Bregman, who, along with Jose Abreu, had two hits.
The Astros and Jays play the rubber match tomorrow at 7:10 CT. It’s not exactly a pitching duel between two aces. The Jays bring Jose Berrios (ERA 7.98) against Luis Garcia (ERA 7.71). Given that the Jays brought in a pitcher tonight, Chris Bassitt, with similar early season stats, you have to wonder whether the incompetence of the opposing pitcher matters to Astros’ offensive performance.