HOUSTON (AP) — Matt Chapman had a home run and a double to extend his hot start to the season and Chris Bassitt carried a shutout in the seventh inning as the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 4-2 on Tuesday night.
Bassitt (2-2) held the Astros in check for 6 1/3 innings, allowing just three hits and a walk while striking out five. The 34-year-old right-hander didn’t allow a hit until José Abreu singled with two out in the fourth inning.
The outing was a solid turnaround for Bassitt, who had given up 13 runs in 15 1/3 innings in his first three starts. He benefited from newfound run support that wasn’t there over the previous two games.
“I felt really good,” Bassitt said. “Execution was really good, I thought, and I thought our game plan was great.”
Toronto slugged two solo home runs off Astros starter José Urquidy in the fourth inning. Vladimir Guerrero Jr. hit his third homer of the season, sending a 94 mph four-seam fastball a few rows deep into the right field seats over the head of Kyle Tucker. Chapman followed, hitting his fifth homer of the season to nearly the same spot in right, but six feet further.
“Things are going good right now,” Chapman said. “I know it’s a long season, but it’s nice to start off like this and feel like I’m helping the team win.”
Chapman has opened the season on a tear. He entered Tuesday with 12 extra-base hits and was tied with Tampa Bay’s Wander Franco for the major league lead. He added two more on Tuesday with the homer and a double in the sixth.
“His work in the offseason, every day, and his mindset of understanding he doesn’t need to pull it to hit it out, it helps him lay off of some borderline pitches that are down and away, too,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said. “I think it’s just him kind of figuring himself out a little bit.”
Urquidy got into more trouble in the fifth. He walked the leadoff hitter and allowed singles to three of the next four hitters, falling behind 4-0 before being lifted.
Urquidy (1-1) allowed four runs and seven hits while walking two and striking out four in 4 1/3 innings. It was a rough start for Urquidy, who had given up just four runs through 15 1/3 innings in his first three starts.
“He was pretty good outside of the two opposite field home runs,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “These guys over there can hit, and they took what we gave them.”
Houston finally got on the board in the eighth inning with a pair of RBI singles from Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker.
With two outs and two on, Tucker appeared to foul a pitch off his right knee area and also turned his ankle awkwardly and was on the ground in apparent pain for more than a minute. Astros manager Dusty Baker left Tucker in, and he delivered a single to right that made it 4-2. But, closer Jordan Romano entered and retired Jeremy Peña to end the inning.
Romano earned his seventh save of the season.
Houston: OF Chas McCormick was placed on the 10-day injured list after hurting his back on Sunday. The Astros called up IF Rylan Bannon from Triple-A Sugar Land as the corresponding move.
José Abreu likely saved another two runs and possible more when he dove to his left to smother a line-drive bouncer near first base. Daulton Varsho pulled it down the right-field line, and it likely would have been an extra-base hit that would have extended Toronto’s lead to 6-0 had Abreu not caught it and touched first base.
DUBÓN’S STREAK HITS 13
Mauricio Dubón extended his career-best hitting streak to 13 games with a single in the eighth inning off reliever Yimi Garcia. Dubón’s streak is the longest in the American League this season. Dubón entered Tuesday hitting .340 in place of José Altuve (right thumb fracture) at second base.
In the finale of the three-game series on Wednesday, Houston RHP Luis Garcia (0-2, 7.71 ERA) is scheduled to square off against Toronto RHP José Berríos (1-2, 7.98 ERA).
For more local and national news, visit KPYN.net.