The Astros scored 19 runs in a game for the first time in nearly two years, beating the Blue Jays 19-1 on Sunday afternoon. For the Jays, it’s their most lopsided loss since falling 23-1 to the Orioles on September 28, 2000.
The 2-3-4 spots in the Astros’ lineup — Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa, and Evan Gattis — combined to go 9-for-14 with four walks, a double, four home runs, 12 RBI, and nine runs scored. Correa had two home runs, giving him 20 on the season heading into the All-Star break. Altuve is now hitting .347/.417/.551.
The Astros head into the break having scored 527 runs, by far the most in baseball. The Nationals are second at 483 as of this writing. Sunday’s 19-1 win gives the Astros a +162 run differential, also now the best in baseball. The Dodgers entered Sunday at +160. At +162 over 89 games, the Astros are on pace to finish at +295, which would set a franchise record. The 1998 Astros, who went 102-60, had a +254 run differential. With a 60-29 record, the Astros are on pace to win 109 games. Not too shabby.
Jaime Garcia has been at the center of trade talks for several days now, but on Friday night, he commanded center stage for an entirely different reason. The Braves’ southpaw went head-to-head with Dodgers’ lefty Alex Wood and mashed his first career grand slam: a two-out, 399-foot blast that cleared the wall in right field and put the Braves up 9-0 in the fifth inning.
The bases-loaded knock was the third career home run for Garcia, whose contributions at the plate have been few and far between over his nine-year track in the major leagues. Not only did the homer mark an impressive career first for the 30-year-old, but it was just the second pitcher grand slam in Braves’ history and the first since 1966.
Garcia looked almost as impressive on the mound during Friday’s series opener, issuing one run, four hits and three strikeouts through his first six innings. The Braves currently lead the Dodgers 12-1 in the top of the seventh inning.
As for whether the slam will affect negotiations between the Braves and Twins? MLB.com’s Mike Petriello put it best:
Athletics’ first baseman Ryon Healy had a scary moment during Friday’s loss to the Mets. Lucas Duda smacked a single to the first base side, where the ball took a high hop and caught Healy in the left temple. He crumpled to the ground after getting struck by the one-hopper, but was eventually able to stand and walk off the field with assistance from a trainer.
Prior to the injury, Healy went 2-for-3 at the plate with an RBI single in the first inning. He was replaced by Yonder Alonso, who finished off the rest of the night’s 7-5 loss with a walk in two plate appearances.
Following the game, manager Bob Melvin told reporters that Healy did not appear to have sustained a concussion as a result of the hit. Healy said he thinks he’ll be good to go for Saturday’s game, though a final decision likely won’t be made until tomorrow.