Toronto Blue Jays News

Blue Jays knuckle one out over Houston Astros

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Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Jose Bautista (19) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 2, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Toronto Blue Jays designated hitter Jose Bautista (19) rounds the bases after hitting a home run off of Houston Astros starting pitcher Lance McCullers (43) in the third inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Toronto bounced back on Tuesday night in Houston, topping the Astros 2-1 thanks to a great pitching performance and some unexpected bullpen help.

R.A. Dickey looked as strong as he has this season, giving the Blue Jays seven innings of one-run ball. The veteran allowed just six hits on 107 pitches, striking out five and not issuing a single walk.

Dickey’s start was especially important because of the state of Toronto’s bullpen. Along with Jason Grilli, the recently-recalled Mike Bolsinger and Danny Barnes were the only relievers available to pitch after back-to-back extra-inning games.

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Jose Bautista got the Blue Jays on the board with a milestone moment. His 300th career home run, a solo shot on a line drive to left field, put Toronto out front 1-0 in the third. Not to be outdone, Edwin Encarnacion followed suit in the fourth with a home run of his own, his 29th of the season. Melvin Upton Jr. went 2-for-4 with a pair of singles starting in right field.

Barnes, recalled earlier in the day, made his MLB debut in the eighth inning. A 35th round draft pick out of Princeton in 2010, Barnes continued his brilliant season from the double-A and triple-A levels by tossing a scoreless setup frame. After getting Alex Bregman for his first big league strikeout, Barnes surrendered a single to Jose Altuve before fanning Carlos Correa to end the inning.

With Osuna unavailable, Grilli entered for the save in the bottom of the ninth and looked right at home. The right-hander pitched a perfect ninth to earn the save.

Houston starter Lance McCullers was forced to leave after four and two-thirds with an injury after striking out six and allowing two runs on seven hits. Joe Musgrove took over, making his MLB debut at age 23. Musgrove was selected 46th overall by the Blue Jays in the 2011 MLB Draft before being dealt to Houston in 2012 as part of the 12-player deal that involved J.A. Happ.

On Wednesday night, Marco Estrada (6-4, 3.02 ERA) will take on Colin McHugh (7-7, 4.75) in game three of the series at 8:10 p.m. ET.

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