The Blue Jays took on the Astros on Sunday afternoon looking for a series win, and to extend their streak of unbeaten series to six.
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Pearson was called up from AAA to make this start. He made his season debut for the Bisons on May 4th. He looked strong early on and finished the day with 8 strikeouts and 0 walks. Unfortunately his pitch count was elevated and he only lasted 3.2 innings, giving up 4 hits and one run.
The plan that was discussed was for Pearson to start and Anthony Kay to follow him in relief. Toronto’s pitching staff has been decimated with injuries so the hope was to give the rest of the pitching staff the day off.
37 year old Greinke was off to a solid start in 2021. He had a 3.76 era in 7 games for the Astros prior to this game.
To make room for Pearson on the 26 man roster, the Jays placed RHP Rafael Dolis on the 10 day IL.
In honour of Mother’s Day, players on both sides used various pink coloured clothes/equipment.
Pearson needed 20 pitches to get through the 1st inning. He issued a one out walk to Michael Brantley on four pitches. He then got Alex Bergman to fly out and Yordan Alvarez hit a two out single. Yuli Gurriel flew out to preserve the scoreless tie.
Kyle Tucker and Robel Garcia drew back to back walks to open the 2nd. Myles Straw and Martin Maldonado flew out. Jose Altuve hit a single to LF to load the bases. Michael Brantley drew a bases loaded walk. 1-0 Astros. Alex Bregman flew out to limit the damage.
Bottom 3rd, Yuli Gurriel drew a one out walk and scored on a triple by Tucker. The Jays gambled and brought the infield in and Garcia hit an RBI single through the drawn in infield. 3-0 Astros.
That was the end of the day for Pearson whose final line wasn’t pretty. 2.1 innings, 3 runs on 4 hits, 0 strikeouts and 5 walks. He threw 64 pitches, only 28 for strikes. Whether Pearson’s next start is for the Jays or Bisons, hopefully he will sort things out before then.
Joel Payamps got the final two outs of the third without allowing any more damage.
Hernandez led off the 4th with his second hit of the game. Grichuk struck out, Biggio grounded out, Hernandez to second. Lourdes Gurriel flew out to strand the runner.
Altuve hit a solo HR off of Payamps to start the 4th. 4-0 Astros. Anthony Kay relieved Payamps with two out and gave up a single to Alvarez and a walk to Y Gurriel. Tucker hit an upper deck, 3 run HR. 7-0 Astros.
Rowdy Tellez hit a solo HR to start the 5th. 7-1 Astros. Reese McGuire and Marcus Semien followed that with back to back singles and scored on a Bichette double. 7-3 Astros. Guerrero hit an RBI single to drive in Bichette. 7-4 Astros and Greinke’s day was done.
Bryan Abreu in to pitch for Houston. Hernandez popped out and Grichuk hit in to a double play.
Kay pitched a scoreless fifth inning with some help from his teammates. With one out, McGuire threw out Straw trying to steal third. Two out, Brantley doubled and Maldonado was thrown out trying to score, L Gurriel to Bichette to McGuire.
The game marked the 2021 season debut for Jays pitcher AJ Cole. He pitched the final two frames for the Jays and didn’t allow a base runner. Unfortunately the offence couldn’t close the gap any further than that.
Final score – Astros 7, Blue Jays 4.
It was the first time the Jays have lost a series since the four games against Kansas City in mid April. It dropped their record to 17-16. Toronto’s search for consistent starting pitching behind steady southpaws Ryu, Ray and Matz continues.
Next up – after an off day on Monday, the Jays begin a three game series in Atlanta on Tuesday May 11th. First pitch scheduled for 7:20 pm.
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