Toronto 6, Houston 2
When: 7:07 PM ET, Friday, June 5, 2015
Where: Rogers Centre, Toronto, Ontario
John Hirschbeck, 1B -
Bill Welke, 2B -
Sam Holbrook, 3B -
TORONTO -- The more Aaron Sanchez pitches, the better he gets.
The Toronto Blue Jays rookie right-hander could not close out what would have been his first major-league complete game Friday, but he was plenty good enough.
Sanchez finished by allowing six hits, no walks and two runs (one earned) in eight-plus innings in a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros.
"The more he goes deeper into games, the confidence is growing, he knows he can do it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "It was easy to watch, a lot of ground balls, strike after strike."
"The more I'm out there the better I'm going to be." Sanchez said.
Shortstop Jose Reyes and right fielder Jose Bautista each hit two-run homers, while left fielder Chris Colabello had three hits and one run batted in for the Blue Jays (26-30), who have won three in a row.
Colabello has a career-best 15-game hit streak, the longest for the Blue Jays this season.
Sanchez (5-4) carried a shutout into the ninth before giving up the sixth homer of the season by Astros catcher Jason Castro.
The next two batters, shortstop Luis Villar and right fielder George Springer, singled, and right-hander Roberto Osuna replaced Sanchez with runners at the corners.
Springer stole second and took third as Villar scored on a throwing error by catcher Russell Martin.
Osuna then struck out second baseman Jose Altuve, left fielder Preston Tucker and designated hitter Evan Gattis to end the game.
"Obviously I wanted to finish it," Sanchez said. "I made a couple of bad pitches at the end."
"He hit the wall," Gibbons said.
The ninth-inning runs snapped the Toronto pitching staff's streak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings. Left-hander Mark Buehrle shut out the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch was impressed with Sanchez's progress.
"We knew he was a little erratic earlier in the year and we expected him to spray the ball around a little bit," Hinch said. "What we saw was a little bit different where he pounded the strike zone with his fastball. This guy has a good arm, his ball moves all over the place and when he's inside the strike zone, he's tough to handle."
Sanchez, who broke in as a reliever late last season, was making his 11th career major-league start. The win was his second in his past three starts.
Right-hander Roberto Hernandez (2-5) allowed nine hits, two walks and six runs and had one strikeout in 5 2/3 innings as the Astros (34-22) lost their second in a row.
Hernandez left with two outs in the sixth when the Blue Jays took a 6-0 lead on singles by Colabello and first baseman Justin Smoak and a groundout by center fielder Kevin Pillar.
"The big inning is getting him," Hinch said. "Minimizing damage has been hard for him. He hasn't been able to control the inning when they've gotten multiple hits."
Toronto hit two home runs in their five-run third. Pillar led off with an infield single to the mound. Reyes, sitting on a changeup, lined his first homer of the season to right-center with one out.
Third baseman Josh Donaldson followed with a single to center to extend his hit streak to 10 games. Bautista followed with a home run off the facing of the third deck in left field, his ninth of the season, to extend his hit streak to nine games.
Designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion doubled on a ball that bounced over the head of center fielder Colby Rasmus. Colabello singled for a 5-0 lead.
"My focus early was they gave me a big lead, so go out and get some shut-down innings," Sanchez said. "You want to attack these guys, they're a very aggressive team and I figured if I can attack these guys with my heater and keep the ball down in the zone, they're going to hit a lot of groundballs and that's what happened."
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