TORONTO (AP)George Springer homered twice against his former team, leading Jose Berrios and the Toronto Blue Jays over Houston 2-1 Saturday to snap the Astros’ season-long winning streak at four.
Springer’s leadoff homer in the first was the 46th of his career. Starting at DH, Springer connected again in the third, his 19th multi-homer game.
”It boiled down to too much George,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said.
Springer was hit by a pitch in his next at-bat and stole second.
Of Springer’s six home runs this season, three have come against Houston. He was the MVP of the 2017 World Series when the Astros won their only championship.
”A home run is a home run,” Springer said. ”It doesn’t matter who you’re playing.”
Berrios (2-0) gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked two.
”I got it in my mind to be aggressive, trying to be ahead of the hitters,” Berrios said. ”We created a plan and then went out there and executed it.”
Yordan Alvarez homered off Berrios to begin the fourth, his sixth. But that was all Houston managed against the Blue Jays right-hander.
”Hats off to Jose,” Springer said. ”He held a good team down.”
Adam Cimber pitched one inning, Tim Mayza went 1 1-3 innings and Jordan Romano threw a perfect ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Both of Springer’s homers came off Luis Garcia (1-1), who allowed five hits in six innings.
”Man, that was a tough one to lose because both pitchers were throwing the ball well,” Baker said.
Toronto improved to 8-2 in one-run games, the most one-run victories in baseball. The Blue Jays have not lost back-to-back games since Sept. 24, 2021, an MLB-best 30-game stretch.
”That just shows we’re a resilient team,” Springer said. ”It’s who we are. We expect to win every day.”
Yuli Gurriel followed Alvarez’s homer with a walk and advanced on Kyle Tucker’s single. Berrios then threw Gurriel out at third on Jeremy Pena’s attempted sacrifice and retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Baker said Pena, who hit a three-run homer Friday, bunted on his own after misinterpreting a sign.
”We’ll get better, we’ll address it,” Baker said. ”He was the hottest hitter at the bottom of the order. He didn’t bunt on his own. He thought he saw something.”
Chas McCormick and Niko Goodrum had back-to-back hits to open the Houston fifth, but Alex Bregman lined out, Alvarez grounded out, and Berrios fanned Gurriel to keep the Blue Jays in front.
Home plate umpire Nic Lentz ejected Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo for arguing balls and strikes after Vladimir Guerrero Jr. was called out looking at a low strike to end the fifth. Guerrero slammed his bat in frustration after the call but was not ejected. Montoyo’s ejection was his second of the season.
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With his 46th leadoff drive, Springer matched Jimmy Rollins for sixth-most leadoff homers in MLB history. Curtis Granderson is next with 47. Rickey Henderson (81) is the all-time leader.
Houston lost for the first time in nine games when out-hitting its opponents. The Astros had eight hits Saturday while Toronto had six.
Astros: OF Michael Brantley missed his second straight game, with the team again citing health and safety protocols. Brantley stretched with his teammates on the field before the game. His status for Sunday remains uncertain. ”At best he’ll be DHing tomorrow,” Baker said after the game.
Blue Jays: Toronto put LHP Tayler Saucedo (right hip) on the 10-day IL and recalled RHP Bowden Francis from Triple-A. Saucedo faced two batters Friday before leaving the game.
Astros LHP Framber Valdez (1-1, 3.15) faces Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman (1-1, 2.19) in Sunday’s series finale. Gausman is 1-3 with a 5.16 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.
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