TORONTO (AP) — Kevin Gausman matched his career high by striking out 13 over seven innings, George Springer, Bo Bichette and Daulton Varsho all homered, and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 5-1 Tuesday night.
Gausman (5-3) gave up a leadoff homer to Mauricio Dubón on his second pitch but recovered to hold the Astros in check and win his third straight start. Houston had a season-high 19 hits in Monday’s 11-4 win.
The AL strikeout leader with 113, Gausman has struck out 10 or more a major league-leading six times this season. He also fanned 13 in an April 29 win over Seattle.
Jeremy Peña and Alex Bregman each whiffed three times against Gausman, who gave up one run and four hits, striking out five of the final six batters he faced. The right-hander didn’t issue a walk, the fourth time this season he’s done that.
Erik Swanson pitched the eighth and Trevor Richards finished as Toronto won for the eighth time in 11 games.
Springer gave the Blue Jays the lead with a two-run homer in the third, his ninth. Varsho extended Toronto’s advantage with a solo shot in the fourth, his 11th. Varsho also homered Monday, and has connected three times in six games.
Both homers came off Astros rookie right-hander Hunter Brown (5-3), who lost consecutive decisions for the first time.
Brown allowed three runs and three hits in six innings. He walked three and struck out five.
Bichette homered on Rafael Montero’s first pitch of the eighth inning, his 13th. Three batters later, Whit Merrifield’s RBI double made it 5-1.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve missed his fourth straight game because of a sore right oblique.
Blue Jays: 3B Matt Chapman was out of the lineup after having an ingrown toenail removed Tuesday.
Toronto sent struggling RHP Alek Manoah to the rookie-level Florida Complex League, one day after the 2022 All-Star and AL Cy Young Award finalist couldn’t get out of the first inning. Manoah is 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA in 13 starts after going 16-7 with a 2.24 ERA in 31 starts in 2022.
Toronto activated RHP Chris Bassitt off the paternity list and reinstated INF Santiagio Espinal (right hamstring) from the 10-day injured list. The Blue Jays selected RHP Bowden Francis from Triple-A Buffalo, and optioned RHP Jay Jackson and INF Ernie Clement to Triple-A. Minor league RHP Zach Thompson was designated for assignment.
Bassitt (6-4, 3.41 ERA) is set to pitch for Toronto on Wednesday, while RHP Ronel Blanco (1-0, 4.15) goes for the Astros. Blanco will make his second career start.
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