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9th Inning Meltdown Sinks Jays

Strong performances from offense, Stroman not enough

MLB: Toronto Blue Jays at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Astros 7, Blue Jays 6

Marcus Stroman had another excellent outing, and the offense put up a strong lead in what should have secured the Jays a series win. Unfortunately Roberto Osuna allowed 4 runs in the bottom of the 9th to give the Astros a walk off win. Guess we aren’t finished with the 9th inning dramatics yet.

Both teams had base runners named Josh in the first inning - Josh Donaldson took a 2 out walk and Josh Reddick hit a ground rule double to left field, but neither were able to score. Neither team had hitters reach base in the second inning, and Stroman retired his three batters on 7 pitches.

Nori Aoki grounded out to start the top of the third, but Barney reached on a throwing error by Marwin Gonzalez. This error would prove to be costly as Jose Bautista took a Mike Fiers slow breaking ball deep for a 2-run home run.

Stroman pitched around a couple baserunners in the bottom of the 3rd, and was saved by a beauty of a catch by Bautista to end the inning.

The top of the 4th was interesting. Kendrys Morales walked, Ryan Goins popped out (Morales wasn’t in scoring position) and Kevin Pillar hit a grounder right to Jose Altuve. Altuve got the Morales force out at second, but airmailed his throw to first to allow Pillar to reach. The ball bounced out of bounds, and Pillar took second. From what I saw (and what the Jays saw), it didn’t look like Altuve actually stepped on second, and the Jays challenged the call. Upon review the call stood and Aoki struck out to end the inning.

The Astros threatened big time in the bottom of the 4th. Gurriel singled to start the bottom of the fourth, moved to second on the next out, and advanced to third on a Carlos Beltran single. Bregman would walk after a lengthy AB to load the bases with one out. Recently called up catcher Juan Centeno (filling in for Evan Gattis, who is on the DL with a concussion) hit into a nice double play turned by Goins/Barney to end the inning.

Fiers pitched around a 2 out walk to Russell Martin for a clean top of the 5th.

The Astros took the lead by scoring 3 runs in the bottom of the 5th. Jake Marisnick doubled to lead off the inning, moved to third on a base hit by Derek Fisher, and came around to score off a Jose Altuve single. Reddick grounded out, and Fisher scored on an error by Ryan Goins (the ball went right through his legs) to put runners on the corners with one out. Aoki caught a Gonzalez deep fly behind the Crawford Boxes (familiarity with the park probably helpful in this scenario), but Altuve scored on the sac fly. Bregman grounded out to end the inning.

Smoak broke his 0-12 drought with a single at the top of the 6th, but after Morales flied out, Ryan Goins, who was batting sixth today, grounded into a double play. Stroman stranded a lead off single in the bottom of the 6th by striking out his next three batters.

The Jays had a really nice four run inning in the 7th.

After a lead off single by Kevin Pillar, Aoki decided to inflict some revenge to his former team on their turf by going deep on a Fiers fastball to put the Jays back ahead, 4-3. Luke Gregerson came on to replace Fiers after he hit Darwin Barney (which was the second time Fiers hit the next batter after allowing a home run).

After a couple pick-off attempts and a pitch-out, the Jays played hit and run, and were able to advance Barney to third on a Russell Martin single. However, Barney ended up getting tagged out after getting caught in a run down on a Josh Donaldson ground ball. Marisnick dropped a deep Justin Smoak fly right at the wall to score two more.

Dominic Leone got the 3rd out of the bottom of the 7th after Stroman allowed two 2-out base hits. Stroman left the game one pitch short of his career high.

The Jays wore down Reymin Guduan in the top of the 8th. Goins singled, Pillar battled an 11 pitch at bat for another single to follow, and it took Guduan 9 pitches to retire Aoki. However, Frances Martes came on in relief and struck out Barney and Bautista to end the inning.

Leone pitched a beautiful 3 up, 3 down bottom 8th.

Jays stranded a Martin walk in the top of the 9th to bring up Roberto Osuna.

After a lead off single to Altuve, Osuna struck out Reddick. Reddick voiced his displeasure enough to HP ump to get ejected, right before Gurriel also singled to put two on with 1 out. After Beltran’s RBI groundout, a Bregman triple followed by a Centeno single was enough to cost the Jays the series.

Jays of the Day: Aoki (.266), Smoak (.218), Bautista (.121), Leone (0.97), and I’ll give Stroman one too for his excellent start.

Suckage: Goins (-.122)

Extreme suckage: Osuna (-.962)

The Jays have an off day tomorrow before they welcome the Yankees to start a 10 day homestand.