It happened again.
One night after crushing it with an 11-4 win, the Astros drew blanks at the plate.
In fact, after the second pitch of the game the Astros failed to score. They finished the game with only four hits, with the 2-4 spots in the Astros lineup 0-11 with nine strikeouts.
Yeah, that’s you, Jeremy Peña, Yordan Alvarez, and Alex Bregman.
The Astros struck early but not often. On the second pitch offered by Blue Jays starter Kevin Gausman, Mauricio Dubon hit his second homer of the season on a split finger pitch. It was the first home run off Gausman’s splitter all year.
Known power hitter Mauricio Dubón. pic.twitter.com/aBQTFqFZPu— Houston Astros (@astros) June 6, 2023
But the Blue Jays soon caught the home run bug themselves off Astros starter Hunter Brown. Yes, I hate to say it, but a two-run Springer dinger in the second got the scoring started for Toronto. And a solo shot by Dalton Varsho in the third on a good change up gave the Jays a 3-1 lead.
Brown gave the Astros another quality start, going six innings, allowing three runs, three hits and three walks. Unfortunately for Brown, two of the three hits were home runs, the one to Varsho so close it was only called a homer upon review.
Meanwhile, Gausman’s splitter was unhittable. (unless your name was Dubon or Julks) Corey Julks was 2-2 and Dubon 2-3 against Gausman and were the only Astros to get hits against the Jays starter. And the one time Gausman got Dubon out, Dubon hit a hard liner to left for out three in the fifth inning with Julks on second. (Julks stole two bases tonight). Gausman had 13 strikeouts and no walks in seven innings pitched.
After a scoreless seventh by Phil Maton following Brown’s departure, the Blue Jays immediately took advantage of the Astros’ bullpen weak link. On Rafael Montero’s first pitch Bo Bichette went yard. Montero then walked Vladimir Guerrerro Jr., who took second on a throwing error by Martin Maldonado. Kyle Tucker then made an error on a routine foul fly ball by Whit Merrifield, who immediately took advantage with a double scoring Guerrerro. Montero left the game allowing two runs, one earned.
Fittingly, the game ended on an Alex Bregman double play, the only time he did not strike out all night.
After wearing out the Blue Jays bullpen Monday night, the Astros let the Jays’ relief corp off the hook tonight. Tomorrow the pitching matchup favors the Jays, with Ronel Blanco facing Chris Bassitt. 6:07 starting time in Toronto.