While the front office is mulling over who they want to acquire to be that boost to the starting rotation, Marcus Stroman of the Blue Jays made his own bid for the job. With a name like his, he ought to be a natural. The 5-8 Stroman won his ninth game of the season and tossed seven innings of six-hit, one-run ball as Toronto silenced Houston, 7-2, on Saturday.
Donaldson: Former A likes being a Jay
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Mike Fiers worked on his curve ball and didn't allow a hit until the fourth inning but he had walked four by that time. He owned a 1-0 lead entering the fifth inning thanks to an RBI double by George Springer but Astros fans know the fifth is their Danger Zone. Sure enough, Josh Donaldson rocketed a three run homer to center that put the Jays ahead, 3-1.
Chris Devenski entered in the seventh and I know the temptation for A.J. Hinch to reach for his All-Star reliever but this wasn't a good situation. After being named to the All-Star team as an injury replacement on Friday, I'm sure the former 25th-round draft choice's phone never stopped ringing, his Twitter never stopped tweeting and he was hearing from every friend, family, former teammate and anyone looking to score some tickets into the wee hours of the morning. He might have said "Skip, I'm fine" but I'll bet he was tired from all the hoopla.
Unlike Devo, he put two men aboard then gave up a smash to center by Justin Smoak that was almost a home run (it was upheld as a double on review) which boosted Toronto's lead. Then Troy Tulowitzki, the former Rockie, smacked a three-run homer to basically put the game away. Ken Giles finished out the eighth.
Marwin Gonzalez had the only response with a solo shot, his 16th of the season just before the final out was recorded.
So the Astros are left hoping to split the four-game series with Brad Peacock (6-1) pitching the 12:07 Central finale against former Astro J.A. Happ (3-5).
- Bob Hulsey