Bichette homers, Gausman fans 10 as Blue Jays top Astros 3-2

Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
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TORONTO — Santiago Espinal drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single in the seventh inning, Bo Bichette added a two-run homer and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 3-2 on Sunday.

Right-hander Kevin Gausman (2-1) struck out a season-high 10 over seven innings to win his second straight decision as Toronto took two of three from Houston. The Blue Jays have won nine of 12.

Gausman allowed two runs and six hits. He has not walked a batter in 31 2/3 innings this season.

According to MLB Stats on Twitter, Gausman is the first pitcher since Cy Young in 1906 to not walk a batter or allow a home run in five straight starts to begin a season (minimum 20 innings pitched).

Tim Mayza worked the eighth and Jordan Romano pitched around Kyle Tucker‘s one-out double in the ninth to earn his 11th save in 12 chances.

Romano got some help from right fielder George Springer, who made a sensational catch on pinch-hitter Alex Bregman‘s liner for the second out.

Toronto, which won 2-1 Saturday, is 9-2 in one-run games. The Blue Jays lead the major leagues in one-run victories.

Astros left-hander Framber Valdez (1-2) didn’t allow a hit until Bichette connected with two outs in the sixth, overturning a 1-0 deficit.

Valdez pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing three runs and two hits. He walked two and struck out two.

Valzdez walked Springer to begin the bottom of the first but Vladimir Guerrero Jr. grounded into a double play to end the inning.

Chapman drew a one-out walk in the fifth but Valdez retired the next two batters.

With one out in the sixth, Blue Jays outfielder Bradley Zimmer was hit by a pitch. Springer grounded into a fielder’s choice, and Bichette followed with an opposite field homer, his third.

The Blue Jays lead the majors with 31 home runs.

The Astros tied it in the seventh when Kyle Tucker singled, stole second, and scored on Niko Goodrum‘s double.

Blue Jays outfielder Lourdes Gurriel Jr. singled to begin the seventh but was erased on Matt Chapman‘s fielder’s choice. Alejandro Kirk reached on a fielding error by shortstop Jeremy Pena and Phil Maton replaced Valdez before Espinal lined a tiebreaking single to left.

Gausman allowed two hits, both singles, through the first five innings before the Astros broke the deadlock with a two-out run in the sixth. Chas McCormick hit his first career triple and scored on a base hit by Aledmys Diaz.

BUS TO BUFFALO

The Astros became the latest team to depart Canada by bus, choosing to drive approximately two hours to Buffalo, New York, and fly home from there. By doing so, the Astros avoided having to test their travel party for COVID-19 before flying into the United States. The Boston Red Sox and the NBA”s Philadelphia 76ers both did the same leaving Toronto last week, as did the Blue Jays on their most recent road trip.

HEY, BROTHER!

Before the game, Houston 1B Yuli Gurriel exchanged lineup cards with his sibling, Toronto OF Lourdes, who wrapped his big brother in a hug before heading back to his dugout.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Michael Brantley returned as the designated hitter after missing the first two games of the series due to what the Astros called health and safety protocols. Brantley went 0 for 4.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Jake Odorizz (1-2, 6.00) starts Monday as Houston hosts a three-game series against Seattle. LHP Marco Gonzales (1-2, 3.86) starts for the Mariners.

Blue Jays: RHP Ross Stripling (0-0, 3.60) starts Monday in the opener of the three-game series against the New York Yankees. LHP Jordan Montgomery (0-1, 2.70) goes for New York.