Gausman strikes out 13, Springer, Varsho and Bichette homer as Jays top Astros 5-1
Toronto Blue Jays starting pitcher Kevin Gausman (34) throws against the Houston Astros in first inning American League MLB baseball action in Toronto on Tuesday, June 6, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Andrew Lahodynskyj
Gregory Strong, The Associated Press
Published Tuesday, June 6, 2023 9:44PM EDT
Toronto starter Kevin Gausman tied a career-high with 13 strikeouts and the Blue Jays hit three home runs in a 5-1 victory over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
George Springer, Daulton Varsho and Bo Bichette went deep as Toronto won for the fifth time in six games.
Gausman (5-3) allowed one earned run and four hits over seven innings. He didn't walk a batter in the 101-pitch outing.
The right-hander has reached double digits in strikeouts a major-league best six times this season.
Erik Swanson worked the eighth inning and Trevor Richards handled the ninth for Toronto (34-28).
Mauricio Dubon homered for the Astros (36-25), who lost for the fourth time in their last 12 games. Houston starter Hunter Brown (5-3) gave up three earned runs and three hits over six innings.
Gausman's performance came at a good time for the Toronto bullpen, which was taxed heavily on Monday when starter Alek Manoah lasted just one-third of an inning in an 11-4 series-opening loss.
Manoah was sent down to the Florida Complex League on Tuesday afternoon.
Dubon turned on Gausman's second pitch of the game for his first career leadoff home run.
The lead held until Springer's two-run shot in the third inning. His ninth homer of the year barely cleared the wall in left-centre field.
Varsho made it a two-run advantage in the fourth with a solo shot that needed a crew chief review to be confirmed.
A replay showed the ball hit a railing behind the fence and bounced back into the field of play. It was Varsho's 11th homer of the season.
Bichette hit a solo shot in the eighth inning for his team-leading 13th homer of the year. Whit Merrifield added an RBI double that plated Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with another insurance run.
Announced attendance was 30,079 and the game took two hours 23 minutes to play.
The Rogers Centre's retractable roof was open despite elevated air quality health index levels due to drifting smoke from wildfires in Quebec and Ontario.
Environment Canada issued a special air quality statement for a large section of southern Ontario.
Santiago Espinal started at third base for the Blue Jays after being reinstated from the 10-day injured list earlier in the day.
He filled in for Matt Chapman, who's day to day after having an ingrown toenail removed late Monday night.
Right-handers were scheduled to square off Wednesday. Chris Bassitt (6-4, 3.41 earned-run average) was tabbed to start for the Blue Jays against Ronel Blanco (1-0, 4.15).
This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 6, 2023.