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Astros Bats Waste Another Good Rookie Pitcher Performance. Fall to Blue Jays 3-2

Yordan Alvarez blast is the only offense

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

When I was growing up, my mama always said, “turn off the lights. Do think money grows on trees?”

Well, for the Astros, it seems like starting pitchers really do grow on trees. The Astros have lost three this year, and have brought in three unpedigreed replacements from the minors who have no business pitching as well as they have.

So when a guy named Ronel Blanco holds the potent Blue Jays lineup to two runs in six innings it’s a little frustrating when the team can’t take advantage.

My mama would tell the Astros, “get some runs. Do you think performances like these grow on trees?”

The game started as a pitcher’s duel between Astros rookie Blanco and Jays Starter Chris Bassitt. The Astros broke the early scoreless deadlock in the fourth inning with a two-run Yordan Alvarez home run just over the right-field fence, his seventeenth.

However, Alvarez can’t win the game alone.

The Blue Jays answered in the bottom of the inning with a solo homer by Bo Bichette. And they tied the score in the fifth with a solo homer by Brandon Belt.

Blanco surrendered the mound to Hector Neris in the seventh inning. Ronel allowed the two solo home runs, only three hits but four walks. He struck out five. It was another strong performance by one of the contingent of unsung rookie replacement pitchers who are keeping the Astros in the pennant race.

Neris’ streak of 16+ scoreless innings ended after he walked Daulton Varsho on a pitch clock violation, walked Kevin Kiermaier, and surrendered an RBI single to pitch-hitter Alejandro Kirk. Quite possibly, Neris and the Astros took the loss because of a pitch clock violation.

The Astros mounted a threat in the ninth when Mauricio Dubon led off with a double off Jordan Romano. It was his third hit of the game, and it amounted to 60% of the Astros’ hit total. Unfortunately, the next three batters failed to hit him in, the most frustrating was an Alvarez line drive rocket that was caught by Jays CF Kiermaier in a sparkling play.

The Astros go for the series split tomorrow at 6:07 CT behind Framber Valdez.

Box score HERE.