Toronto 4, Houston 3
When: 8:10 PM ET, Friday, April 22, 2022
Where: Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
Adam Hamari, 1B -
Edwin Moscoso, 2B -
Jerry Layne, 3B -
Matt Chapman delivered a two-out, two-strike, run-scoring double in the top of the ninth inning as the visiting Toronto Blue Jays rallied for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday.
Chapman lined a 2-2 fastball from Astros reliever Hector Neris (1-1) into the left-center-field gap, scoring Vladimir Guerrero Jr. from first base after Guerrero opened the ninth with a single.
Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano notched his 31st consecutive save dating back to 2021 and eighth this season by striking out a pair of pinch hitters with the tying run at third base and the winning run at first.
Trailing 3-0, the Blue Jays mounted a surprising charge against Astros right-hander Justin Verlander, who twirled a no-hitter in his previous appearance against Toronto on Sept. 1, 2019.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. shaved the deficit to 3-1 by beating out a potential inning-ending, double-play grounder in the fourth, driving home Raimel Tapia, who opened the frame with a single -- the Blue Jays' first hit. Verlander had faced the minimum through three innings, but he allowed a second hit later in the fourth, a single to Guerrero that advanced Tapia to third base.
Verlander retired the first two batters of the fifth without incident before an unexpected ambush resulted in a deadlock. Toronto second baseman Santiago Espinal and center fielder Bradley Zimmer homered on consecutive pitches, doing so from the bottom two spots in the order. Each recorded his first home run on the season, with Zimmer knotting the score with his shot to left.
Verlander went six innings, giving up three runs and four hits. He struck out five while walking one.
Toronto right-hander Ross Stripling had allowed just one baserunner prior to the Astros mounting a sudden rally with one out in the third. Houston catcher Martin Maldonado provided the spark with a double to left-center field, the first of three consecutive Astros to reach safely.
By the time Alex Bregman stepped in for his second plate appearance, the bases were loaded and Bregman capitalized by lining the first pitch to center, driving in Maldonado for a 1-0 lead.
Toronto appeared to avoid critical damage when Espinal snagged a Yordan Alvarez line drive with a diving attempt to keep the deficit at one run, but Yuli Gurriel followed by bouncing the first pitch through the shift and into shallow right, scoring Jeremy Pena and Michael Brantley.
Stripling lasted just four innings and allowed three runs, five hits and a walk. He struck out two.
Blue Jays relievers Trent Thornton, Adam Cimber and Tim Mayza (1-0) combined to work four scoreless innings in advance of Romano.
--Field Level Media
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