Martin lifts Blue Jays over Astros 4-2

Cheryl Sanders
August 14, 2016

Russell Martin hit a go-ahead three-run home run in the sixth inning, Aaron Sanchez pitched seven innings to get his first win in his last three starts and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Astros 4-2 Saturday, stopping Houston's winning streak at four.

After that, Sanchez settled in and allowed just two more hits over the next five innings as the Blue Jays battled to get back into it.

McHugh has held opponents to three runs or fewer in 10 of his past 11 outings but his 10 losses are a career-high.

"He didn't quite have the finish on his pitches", manager A.J. Hinch said. In his 16 games behind home plate, the over has cashed 10 times this season.

Martin also threw out Houston's Jose Altuve attempted steal with a ideal peg to second in the third inning, the second straight game he has managed to strike down the Astros' speed merchant.

Josh Donaldson also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won seven of nine meetings with the Astros this season.

Sanchez allowed just two runs in seven innings, striking out six on a day he lowered his ERA to 2.84. He allowed two runs and five hits.

"It seemed like they were gonna jump on the heater early in counts, and they were taking good swings off of it so we had to kind of mix it up a little bit, throw some more breaking balls", he said.

Performances like this place Sanchez firmly in the American League Cy Young conversation, but far more importantly for the Blue Jays, he rebounded from a so-so start against the Kansas City Royals with a stronger outing.

Roberto Osuna entered for the ninth and earned his 26th save of the season, tying Terry Forster for the most saves in Major League Baseball history before the age of 22 with 46.

Carlos Correa hit a two-run double in the first as the Astros had three straight opposite-field hits. "I just knew something needed to change there", Sanchez said.

Donaldson hit his 28th homer of the season in the bottom of the first. It was initially ruled a double that would have scored Reed, who led off with a double.

The Astros had a run called back in the second after a video review showed that a ball hit by Tony Kemp down the third-base line was foul. After Reed returned to second, Kemp grounded out to Sanchez and George Springer struck out to end the inning.

I like Fiers in the pitching matchup here, so I'm going to stick with the Astros to get a game three victory in this one. It wasn't until the sixth inning that the Blue Jays rallied with singles from Edwin Encarnacion and Michael Saunders that set up Martin's home run.

"To close games on a good ballclub at that age is unheard of", Gibbons said. "He made one bad pitch today and it cost us three runs".

"He probably had the best curveball I've seen him have consistently, " manager John Gibbons said. Neither Reed nor the officer was injured, and both laughed off the incident. Altuve has reached safely in 43 straight road games.

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