July 14th, 2024

Spencer Horwitz, George Springer homer as Blue Jays hold on for 7-6 win over Astros

By John Chidley-Hill, The Canadian Press on July 2, 2024.

Houston Astros' Jose Altuve (27) dives safely into first base as Toronto Blue Jays first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr. (27) looks on during first inning MLB baseball action in Toronto on Tuesday, July 2, 2024. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jon Blacker

TORONTO – Spencer Horwitz had a solo shot and George Springer followed that with a three-run homer as the Toronto Blue Jays held on for a 7-6 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday.

Justin Turner drove in a run with a single in the first inning and Addison Barger doubled home another in the fourth for Toronto (39-46).

Jose Berrios (8-6) went five innings, giving up five runs on five hits and two walks, striking out just one.

Nate Pearson, Trevor Richards and Chad Green came out of the bullpen to preserve the win, although Richards gave up an unearned run.

Yordan Alvarez had a three-run homer to cap a five-run fifth for Houston (43-42). Cesar Salazar and Jose Altuve had RBI singles as part of that rally.

Spencer Arrighetti (4-7) gave up seven runs – six earned – on six hits and four walks over four innings. He struck out five.

Relievers Luis Contreras and Seth Martinez combined for four scoreless innings.

Turner opened the scoring in the first when his flyball to centre field dropped in for a single. Vladimir Guerrero Jr., scored from second after walking and advancing a base on an Arrighetti wild pitch.

Horwitz added to that lead in the third inning with his third home run of the season. He launched a 95.2 m.p.h. four-seam fastball from Arrighetti 377 feet into the deck above right field.

Despite there being two outs when Horwitz connected, the homer sparked a mini-rally for Toronto.

Guerrero followed Horwitz to the plate and hit a long double to centre field. Turner then drew a walk to get another Blue Jays runner on the bases.

That brought Springer up. He made no mistake on Arrighetti’s 94.5 m.p.h. four-seamer, sending it 379 feet to left field. The ninth homer of Springer’s season gave Toronto a commanding 5-0 lead.

The Blue Jays’ momentum carried into the fourth inning as Barger doubled off the wall in centre field to score Ernie Clement and move Alejandro Kirk to third. Kirk then ran home on a passed ball for a sizable 7-0 Blue Jays advantage.

Houston took a substantial chunk out of that lead in the next inning.

Salazar and Altuve hit back-to-back RBI singles to score Jon Singleton and Jeremy Pena, respectively. Alvarez then caught an 83.3 m.p.h. change-up from Berrios just inside the strike zone, sailing it 388 feet into the right-field stands to make the score 7-5.

It was Alvarez’s 18th homer of the season.

A pair of errors in the eighth inning cut Toronto’s lead down to a run. Alvarez led off the inning with a hit to Blue Jays shortstop Bo Bichette, who threw the ball way over Guerrero’s head at first base. That allowed Alvarez to round the base and get to second. He then advanced to third when Richards’s pickoff attempt went into the outfield.

Jake Meyers then grounded out, with Alvarez easily running home on the play to make it 7-6.

IL-KF – The Blue Jays placed infielder Isiah Kiner-Falefa on the 10-day injured list before the game with a left knee sprain. The move was retroactive to Monday after Kiner-Falefa hurt himself warming up. Middle infielder Leo Jimenez was recalled from triple-A Buffalo for his first-ever Major League Baseball game in a corresponding move.

ON DECK – Yusei Kikuchi (4-8) will take the mound as the Blue Jays continue their four-game series with the Astros.

Ronel Blanco (8-3) is scheduled to start for Houston.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 2, 2024.

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