Jays col­lapse in ninth; Astros get walkoff win

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - KRISTIE RIEKEN

The Hous­ton Astros con­tinue to find ways to win, with their lat­est vic­tory com­ing thanks to a player who was called up from the mi­nors just a day ear­lier. Juan Cen­teno hit an RBI sin­gle with two outs that capped a four-run rally in the ninth in­ning, lift­ing the Astros over the Toronto Blue Jays, 7-6, in Amer­i­can League base­ball play Sun­day for their 71st vic­tory. Cen­teno was re­called from Triple-A Fresno on Sat­ur­day, when catcher Evan Gat­tis landed on the dis­abled list with a con­cus­sion. “He’s taken ad­van­tage of any small op­por­tu­nity that’s been given,” man­ager A.J. Hinch said. “It’s hard to im­pact games the way he is. You get no­ticed and you get more op­por­tu­ni­ties.” Jose Al­tuve sin­gled off All-Star closer Roberto Osuna (3-3) to be­gin Hous­ton’s ninth, then sin­gles by Yuli Gur­riel and Mar­win Gon­za­lez loaded the bases. Car­los Bel­tran grounded into a force­out that scored a run, and Alex Breg­man’s two-run triple tied it. “I never get in that sit­u­a­tion with­out my team­mates,” Breg­man said. “Great, great at-bat af­ter at-bat, just some­thing that our team’s done all year.” Cen­teno fol­lowed with a liner over the head of leap­ing first base­man Justin Smoak and into shal­low right field to win it for the AL West lead­ers. “When things get rolling, they don’t let you up,” Toronto man­ager John Gib­bons said. “It’s a deep lineup, they got caught up in it and they got some big hits.” Nori Aoki had a two-run homer, his first hit since be­ing traded from Hous­ton to Toronto last Mon­day, dur­ing a four-run seventh that gave the Blue Jays a 6-3 lead. Fran­cis Martes (4-1) pitched 1 2/3 score­less in­nings for the win. Osuna al­lowed five hits and four runs, while get­ting only two outs for his seventh blown save this sea­son. The Blue Jays trailed by a run when Kevin Pil­lar sin­gled off Mike Fiers to start the seventh. Aoki fol­lowed with his third home run this sea­son on a shot to the bullpen in right­cen­tre to make it 4-3. Fiers then plunked Dar­win Bar­ney to end his day and was re­placed by Luke Gregerson who al­lowed a sin­gle to Rus­sell Martin with one out. Smoak hit a two-run dou­ble that bounced off the low wall in cen­tre field. Toronto starter Mar­cus Stro­man tied a sea­son-high with 11 hits, but al­lowed just three runs — two earned — in 6 2/3 in­nings. Jose Bautista hit a two-run homer in the third for the Blue Jays. Fiers, who al­lowed four homers in five starts in July, has that many in two starts in Au­gust. THEY SAID IT Stro­man on how dan­ger­ous Hous­ton’s, is de­spite miss­ing Springer and fel­low All-Star Car­los Cor­rea: “That’s an un­be­liev­able lineup over there, 1-9, and Al­tuve is ex­tremely spe­cial. They have a few big bats out, but the guys that have stepped in are un­be­liev­able.” UP NEXT Blue Jays: Toronto had a day off on Mon­day be­fore J.A. Happ (4-8, 3.92) takes the mound when they open a se­ries against the Yan­kees on Tues­day. He al­lowed six hits and one run while fan­ning 10 in seven in­nings of a 5-1 win over the White Sox in his last start. Astros: Hous­ton, was also off Mon­day be­fore open­ing a se­ries against the White Sox, with Dal­las Keuchel (9-1, 2.15) on the mound on Tues­day. Keuchel looks to bounce back af­ter tak­ing his first loss of the sea­son in a 3-0 loss to the Rays in his last start. The left­handed ace al­lowed seven hits and three runs in five in­nings in his sec­ond start back, af­ter spend­ing al­most two months on the DL with a pinched nerve in his neck.

ERIC CHRIS­TIAN SMITH, THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Toronto’s Norichika Aoki rounds the bases af­ter hit­ting a two-run homer. Blue Jays lost, 7-6.

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