Buehrle sharp as Jays rally past Astros in 9th

Buehrle sharp as Jays rally past Astros in 9th
August 25, 2013, 6:33 pm
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Houston Astros' Dallas Keuchel delivers a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of a baseball game on Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Pat Sullivan)

(APWF)

HOUSTON (AP) Houston starter Dallas Keuchel put the Houston Astros in a position to sweep their first series at home this season.

The Houston bullpen, however, close it out again.

Mark Buehrle allowed one run over eight innings and the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to snap a seven-game losing streak with a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros Sunday.

Buehrle (10-7), who extended his streak of seasons with 10 or more wins to 13, allowed seven hits and struck out seven in winning his fifth straight. He has allowed seven runs over 27 innings, spanning his last four starts. Casey Janssen pitched the ninth for his 23rd save.

Keuchel gave up four hits and three walks with two strikeouts in seven innings. He had allowed four or more runs in each of his last three starts and had allowed at least a run in every start this season.

Keuchel did not allow a Blue Jays runner past second base.

Keuchel said he felt good, and knowing that Buehrle was opposing him, he knew the Toronto starter would work fast.

``My main goal was to try not to look up at the clock,'' Keuchel said. ``I just wanted to go out there and work as quickly as possible and give our team a chance to hit. But he was pretty much matching me pitch for pitch, and it was actually pretty fun. The last thing I wanted to do was have a long inning, and I am a fast-paced working, so it was nice to see another fast-paced working in Buehrle.''

Houston manager Bo Porter said Keuchel was outstanding.

``He changed speeds, pitched to both sides of the plate - and I thought Cody Clark did a great job of working with Dallas,'' Porter said. ``He called a great game, and he did a tremendous job of cutting down a couple of baserunners for him. Dallas was tremendous. In and out, front to back, changing speeds and he just made quality pitch after quality pitch.''

Robbie Grossman had two hits to extend his hitting streak to 12 games for the Astros, who have yet to sweep a series at home this season.

Moises Sierra drew a bases loaded walk to tie the game at 1-1 in the ninth. Following Sierra's walk, Chia-Jen Lo (0-2) struck out Kevin Pillar before Kevin Chapman induced a run-scoring groundout by Ryan Goins to put Toronto in front 2-1.

After Chapman walked Jose Reyes, Philip Humber got Rajai Davis to ground out to end the inning.

The blown save was Houston's 22nd of the year in 49 save opportunities.

``We really, really liked our chances with the way it was stacked up,'' Porter said of the ninth. ``We had the guys in there that we wanted, and Lo just lost his command. He lost his command and his inability to throw strikes cost us the game today. It was just one of those days.

``To this point, he has been outstanding. Today was the first time out that he did not attack the strike zone and he ends up walking some guys. I don't think this is something that we need to read into too deeply. I think he will be fine.''

Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the ninth off Janssen with a walk to pinch hitter Jason Castro before Jonathan Villar singled and pinch hitter Brett Wallace walked, but the closer induced a ground out by Cody Clark to end the game.

``There was no doubt in my mind that I was going to get a hit right there, no doubt in my mind,'' Clark said. ``I knew I was going to get a hit, but it didn't happen today. ... (Janssen) made a really nice play to get his glove on it.''

Matt Dominguez scored on Jake Elmore's double play groundout to give Houston a 1-0 lead in the second inning. Houston worked the bases loaded with nobody outs as Dominguez walked to lead off the inning, followed by singles by Brandon Barnes and Villar.

Buehrle worked out of the inning on Elmore's double play and got Clark to ground out to end the inning.

Buehrle had a nice play on an Elmore line drive in the seventh as he took it off his hand, chased it down going to first base and flipped it over to Encarnacion at first using his glove for the second out. After a visit from Toronto manager John Gibbons and the trainer, Buehrle stayed in the game and struck out Clark on three pitches to end the inning.

NOTES: Houston C Carlos Corporan, who has been on the 7-day disabled since August 20 with a concussion, will not make the upcoming trip to Chicago with the Astros. Corporan said he still has headaches, adding that he had a CT scan Friday that came back ``good''. .Porter said RHP Jarred Cosart will start Wednesday's game against the White Sox. The Astros had yet to make a decision on Tuesday's starter. . Toronto has now lost four of the last five series. . OF Kevin Pillar's home run Saturday night snapped a streak of 25 straight games without hitting a home run with runners in scoring position.

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