Refsnyder scores winning run
(c) Associated Press
The Astros wasted a solid pitching performance by Charlie Morton and home runs by Josh Reddick and Tyler White in a 4-3 loss to Toronto Saturday night. Poor execution on defense cost the Astros a chance to put the Blue Jays away and forced the game into extra innings.
Reddick's 2-run homer to right in the bottom of the first turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 lead. The Jays tied the game in the second with the help of a walk, a swinging bunt base-hit, and a rookie third-baseman's lack of experience. In only his second inning as a big-leaguer, J.D. Davis had a moment of indecision after fielding a bases loaded grounder off the bat of Jose Bautista. Davis eventually got the out at first, allowing a run to score.
White picked up where he left off the night before, homering to lead off the bottom of the third to put the Astros back on top. It was Tyler's third straight longball and his fifth straight plate appearance resulting in a run-scoring hit.
But the Astros offense would go dormant for the remainder of the evening. And, another mental error on defense would allow the Jays to tie the game... again. In the seventh, after a couple of hits put runners at the corners, Bautista hit a chopper to the first-baseman. White threw home seemingly in time to cut down the runner but Brian McCann stepped out in front of the plate to catch the ball and made no attempt to apply a tag. It was a real head-scratcher of a moment.
Morton made some excellent pitches to escape the seventh with no further damage and appeared to be in line for his tenth win of the year when hits by Carlos Beltran and Alex Bregman in the bottom of the inning put runners at second and third with no outs. But Toronto starter Marco Estrada induced a popup and a pair of strikeouts to kill the rally.
Chris Devenski and Ken Giles made things interesting in the eighth and ninth but were ultimately able to keep the Jays off the scoreboard and get the game to extras. That's when former Blue Jay Francisco Liriano came in and suffered his second loss in as many games since joining the Astros.
A 1-out walk and a stolen base put the go-ahead run in scoring position. After striking out Steve Pearce, Liriano gave up a single to Ryan Goins that plated the winning run when Derek Fisher's throw was far enough off the mark to allow Rob Refsnyder to get in ahead of the tag of a lunging McCann.
The Astros went quietly in the bottom of the tenth against Antonio Osuna and now look to Sunday afternoon's contest as a chance to salvage a series win.
- Greg Thurston