Toronto Blue Jays (60-50) at Houston Astros (44-65), 8:10 p.m. (ET)
08/01/2014 9:56 AM
08/01/2014 10:02 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Toronto Blue Jays go after a seventh straight win on Friday when they continue a four-game series with the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park.
Toronto continued to roll on Thursday, as Nolan Reimold's second home run of the game propelled the Jays to a 6-5 win.
Reimold homered in the ninth inning off of Chad Qualls (1-3) to put Toronto ahead and Casey Janssen pitched a scoreless bottom of the ninth to lock down the win and pick up his 18th save of the season.
Jose Bautista and Dioner Navarro also homered for the Blue Jays, who have won nine of 10 and are just 1 1/2 games back of the Baltimore Orioles in the American League East.
Drew Hutchison lasted just three innings as he was tagged for four runs on six hits. Aaron Sanchez (2-0) pitched two scoreless innings to pick up the win.
Jonathan Singleton hit a solo home run for the Astros, who have lost seven of nine.
"Obviously, their four solo home runs proved to be the difference in the ballgame," Astros manager Bo Porter said. "They definitely are a power-hitting team."
Getting the call for the Jays on Friday will be lefty J.A. Happ, who is 8-5 with a 4.58 ERA. Happ did not get a decision on Sunday versus New York, as the Yankees reached him for three runs and four hits in 5 1/3 innings of his team's 5-4 win.
Happ has beaten the Astros both times he has faced them and has pitched to a 2.53 ERA in those outings.
Houston, meanwhile, will counter with righty Collin McHugh, who has lost his last six starts. McHugh's latest setback came on Sunday against Miami, which reached him for four runs and seven hits in 6 1/3 innings, dropping him to 4-9 on the year to go along with a 3.45 ERA.
McHugh is still among the American League leaders in both opponents' batting average (.202) and strikeouts (102 in 88 2/3 innings), but the Astros have put up only eight runs over his losing streak.
"We have one job as starters: We go out, and for however many pitches we get -- whether it's 95, 105, 120 -- you go out and you get outs," said McHugh, who is 2-7 with a 3.43 ERA over his past 10 starts. "The offense, their job is to do their thing and get on base and score runs, and if everybody does their job, we win.
Toronto took two of three from the Astros earlier in the year.
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