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Another one-run win for the Blue Jays, two homers from George Springer lift them over Astros

José Berríos gave Toronto a decent start, followed by shutdown innings from Adam Cimber, Tim Mayza, and Jordan Romano.

Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) hits a home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Rogers Centre. 
Blue Jays center fielder George Springer (4) hits a home run against the Houston Astros during the first inning at Rogers Centre. 
Kevin Sousa-USA TODAY Sports

Astros 1 @ Blue Jays 2

For a guy who rocks the baseball in his glove like a baby before his windup, Astros starter Luis Garcia wasn’t very protective of them against George Springer. In the bottom of the first, Garcia rocked his baby, stepped forward, stepped back, and threw he ball towards Blue Jays’ leadoff man who deposited it into Toronto’s bullpen. Then, after another Garcia pre-pitch dance, Springer hit another solo shot in the third to give the Blue Jays a 2-0 lead.

Blue Jays starter José Berríos started the game well, dispatching the Astros on seven pitches (the same number of pitches Springer saw before his leadoff homer), thanks partly to a diving catch by centrefielder Bradley Zimmer on a Chas McCormick line drive.

The top of the third started off well, with Berríos striking out Jason Castro. Then Matt Chapman showed the hometown crowd why he was acquired, fielding a Jose Siri grounder and throwing it across the diamond to Vladimir Guerrero Jr. who scooped it up for the out. This time last year, we would have all held our collective breaths, wondering if Cavan Biggio’s throw would make it all the way to first. Next up, McCormick lined to centre again afterwards and Zimmer almost got him out again on a dive: the ball went into Zimmer’s glove but it popped out as he hit the outfield turf, giving McCormick a double. Niko Goodrum walked but no damage was done though as Alex Bregman flew out to the warning track to end the inning—thank you, MLB, for deadening the ball.

The next inning, Houston got their first run on a huge Yordan Alvarez leadoff homer that flew 447 feet into the flight deck in dead centre.

The next two Astros got on base but a strange decision to have Jeremy Peña bunt to try to advance the runners helped Berríos get out of the inning without further damage. The bottom half of the inning saw the Blue Jays putting on two with no outs as well, but Toronto also failed to cash either of them in. Without sounding like a broken record, the Astros put two on in the fifth again, but neither managed to score.

Springer was denied the chance to hit his third home run in the bottom of the fifth when a Garcia fastball grazed his elbow. Springer than quickly swiped second base, but was forced to stay there when Bo Bichette just got under a pitch and flew out to centre. Vladdy ended the inning striking out on a called strike which, to be fair, looked in the strike zone. But he was clearly upset by some strike calls he got in the first inning, slamming his bat en route back to the dugout. Charlie Montoyo ran out to talk to home plate umpire Nic Lentz, sacrificing himself to keep Vladdy in the game.

The Astros threatened again in the sixth inning when Peña reached on ball that went under Bichette’s glove for an E6. Siri then singled to right to knock out Berríos, with acting manager John Schneider deciding to relieve Berríos from having to face McCormick for a fourth time. Berríos finished his day throwing 5.2 innings giving up just one run on seven hits, striking out five and walking two. Adam Cimber hopped in made Schneider look smart by getting McCormick out on a no-drama lazy fly.

Cimber was followed by Tim Mayza who held the Jays’ lead, setting up for Jordan Romano’s 12th (!) outing of the year in the ninth to hold a 2-1 lead. Romano’s assignment was to face the top of Houston’s lineup and what did he do? He disposed of McCormick on three pitches, struck out Goodrum on another three, and retired Bregman with three more. Once again, Toronto squeaks by with another one-run win, and Romano gets his 10th save, tying him with Josh Hader for the major league lead.

Despite being 0-for-9 with runners in scoring position today, the 2022 Blue Jays are now 14-8 on the season and have played 22 games without losing two in a row. That is the longest streak of no consecutive losses to start a season since 2009, when the team’s first back-to-back loss came in game 24.

Jays of the Day! Springer (+.222 WPA), Berríos (+.179), Cimber (+.156), Mayza (+.141), Romano (+.161).

Suckage Jays: Guerrero Jr. (−.105).

The Blue Jays wrap up their season series against the Astros tomorrow, with first pitch flying at 1:37 pm. Toronto will send out righty Kevin Gausman and Houston will counter with southpaw Framber Valdez.