A good trip ends in a nightmare
What started as a good trip, a very good trip, ended in a nightmare!
The Jays arrived in Houston having won five of their first six games in New York and Boston… with four games on tap against the team with the worst record in the AL, the Astros.
They started the series with their sixth win in a row, but they faltered in the next three, an unexpected and disastrous ending. The Jays had taken two games in New York and had swept the Red Sox, getting close to the Orioles and first place, while the Yankees were fading away.
In Fenway Park, they avenged their 14-1 loss of a week ago by trouncing the Sox 14-1. Melky Cabrera hit two homers, one from each side of the plate, drove in five runs and Ryan Goins had four hits a added four rbis.
R.A. Dickey finally got the support of the Jays attack and he held the Sox to three hits and a walk. He struck out 10 and notched his ninth win of the year.
The next day, the Jays followed with 12 hits and Marcus Stroman, although he made 115 pitches, registered his seventh victory, 4-2.
Colby Rasmus hit his 14th homer and Anthony Gose drove in two runs. Jose Reyes and Juan Francisco got two hits each.
Casey Janssen gave up a solo blast to Xander Bogaerts en route to his 17th save of the year.
The Jays completed the sweep as the Red Sox seemed distracted by a lot of trade talks were floating in their clubhouse.
Marek Buehrle finally got his 11th win of the year, 6-1, as he allowed only six hits and one walk over six innings and two thirds on the hill.
In Houston, the Jays put their frustration aside as they were shut out on the trade front while the Orioles and the Yankees got some reinforcements… as least for the first game.
They hit four homeruns for their sixth win in a row, beating the Astros 6-5, to get within a game and a half of the Orioles. Drew Hutchison gave up four runs as he had trouble keeping his pitches down. It was young Aaron Sanchez who notched his second career victory and Janssen recorded his 18th save.
Designated hitter Nolan Reimhold, inserted in the lineup when Colby Rasmus was benched for showing up late, hit two homeruns while Jose Bautista and Dioner Navarro got the others. Danny Valencia and Jose Reyes added two hits each.
In the second game, the Jays missed a golden opportunity to distance the Yankees as they were beaten by the Red Sox. The Jays’ bats were not present when needed. In the second inning, leading 1-0, the Jays had runners on second and third base, nobody out, but came out empty.
J.A. Happ held his own for seven innings, allowing only one run on three hits, but Aaron Loup came in relief and was greeted by a Gregorio Petit homerun, his first career blast, and the Jays bowed 3-1.
In the third game of the series, the Astros roughed up Buehrle and Brett Cecil and the Jays did not get a single hit over the last five innings.
Buehrle gave up five runs on nine hits while Cecil did not record a single out, facing only three hitters as Jason Castro and Jon Singleton went deep against the lefthander.
In the last game, Stroman started strong but faded in the third and fourth innings as the Astros got to him for five runs. He was trailing 5-1 when John Gibbons took him out.
So the Jays ended what had started as a very good trip on a sour note, losing three games to the Astros and they flew home where, after an off-day, they will start what is probably their most crucial homestand as they will host the Orioles for three games and the Tigers for three more.