BUFFALO, N.Y, (AP) — Jose Altuve led off the game with a home run, rookie Luis Garcia earned his fifth straight win and the Houston Astros beat Toronto 6-3 Sunday, finishing the Blue Jays’ first homestand of the season in Buffalo.
Chas McCormick also homered, Yuli Gurriel had three hits and Alex Bregman scored twice as Houston won for the sixth time in eight games.
The Blue Jays went 3-2 to open their residency at the home of their Triple-A affiliate. Toronto was 10-11 while hosting home games at its spring training site in Dunedin, Florida, to begin the year.
Garcia (5-3). battling a cold which limited him to 79 pitches, allowed one run and three hits in six innings. The left-hander struck out eight, raising his season total to 68 to tie for the lead among American League rookies with Detroit’s Tarik Skubal.
“He didn’t have his best stuff,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He made the pitches when he had to. He gave us all that we needed and all that we wanted.”
Riding a five-game winning streak, Garcia appears to have met Baker’s expectations over the first half of the season.
“You never know what a young man is going to do,” Baker said. “In spring training, I said I’m always rooting for a surprise player, especially a surprise rookie. Once the young man feels that he belongs here and starts feeling comfortable, he can be himself and rise to the occasion if he has the ability, which we feel he does.”
Gurriel, meanwhile, is more surprised by Garcia’s success.
“What he’s been doing this year has been surprising to see,” Gurriel said through an interpreter. “Just how effective he’s been, and you can see he’s a guy with a lot of capabilities and is ready to do some really great things.”
Ryan Pressly worked the ninth inning to earn his ninth save.
Altuve sent a drive…
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