TORONTO (AP)Jeremy Pena hit a three-run home run, Yordan Alvarez and Alex Bregman also connected, and the Houston Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 11-7 Friday night, extending their winning streak to four games.
Bregman hit a solo home run off Yusei Kikuchi in the first, his fourth, and Pena and Alvarez went deep off Trevor Richards in a five-run sixth inning.
”We have a great team,” Pena said. ”We have great ballplayers, great hitters, great defense. It’s fun being part of this lineup.”
Pena’s homer was his fourth, while Alvarez hit his fifth of the season. Alvarez went 3 for 4 with a walk. He had three RBIs and scored three times.
Bregman scored three runs and Yuli Gurriel had three hits, including a pair of doubles, as Houston matched a season-high with 14 hits.
Kyle Tucker had two hits and two RBIs for the Astros, who have won five of six since a four-game losing streak.
”The guys are starting to get their stuff together,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said
Houston is 8-0 when scoring four or more runs, and 10-2 when scoring first.
Blue Jays pitchers allowed season-highs in hits (14) and walks (eight), but a 13-hit night by the offense helped keep Toronto in it.
”We thought we had a chance to come back until the end,” manager Charlie Montoyo said.
Bregman said the Astros, who lost two of three at home to Toronto last weekend, knew they couldn’t let up against the hard-hitting Blue Jays.
”They’re such a good offense, such a good team,” Bregman said. ”You have to keep scoring if you want to win games, because they’ve got a real relentless attack.”
Astros right-hander Jose Urquidy (2-1) allowed four runs and seven hits in five innings to snap a two-start winless streak. He walked one and struck out six.
”I was attacking the zone with the fastball, the changeup, too,” Urquidy said. ”The changeup was running a lot to righties.”
Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit a three-run home run for the Blue Jays, his sixth, and Matt Chapman hit a two-run shot off the facing of the fifth deck in left, his fourth.
Guerrero connected off Urquidy in the third, erasing Houston’s 4-1 lead, while Chapman’s homer came off Phil Maton in the seventh.
Blue Jays right-hander Trent Thornton (0-2) allowed one run in 1 1/3 innings.
Kikuchi allowed four runs and four hits in 2 2/3 innings. The left-hander has pitched past the fourth inning just once in his first four starts with Toronto.
”His command is not right right now,” Montoyo said.
Astros OF Michael Brantley was scratched from the lineup because of what the team called health and safety protocols.
”Hopefully he’ll be better tomorrow,” Baker said.
Chas McCormick moved from center to left, and Jose Siri got the start in center.
Baker offered a rhyming compliment to Toronto’s potent offense.
”Those guys can hit and they don’t quit,” Baker said.
Houston played in Toronto for the first time since Aug, 30 to Sept. 2, 2019. Astros right-hander Justin Verlander threw a no-hitter against the Blue Jays in the middle game of that series, his second no-hitter in Toronto.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (left hamstring) went 2 for 4 with two singles in his first rehab game at Triple-A Sugar Land. ”That’s good news,” Baker said.
Blue Jays: LHP Tayler Saucedo was removed from the game because of a sore right hip. Saucedo faced two batters in the fifth before departing.
The Blue Jays optioned RHP Bowden Francis to Triple-A Buffalo and selected INF Vinny Capra from the Bisons.
Astros RHP Luis Garcia (1-0, 4.60) starts Saturday afternoon against Blue Jays RHP Jose Berrios (1-0, 4.91). Berrios is 3-3 with a 5.46 ERA in six career starts against Houston. Garcia faced Toronto in Houston last Sunday, allowing five runs in six innings.
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