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McCann, Reddick go back-to-back, Astros beat Blue Jays 5-3

September 25, 2018

TORONTO (AP) — Brian McCann and Josh Reddick hit back-to-back home runs, and the Houston Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 5-3 on Monday night to move one step closer to their second straight AL West title.

The defending World Series champions began the day with a magic number of three over Oakland to clinch the division — which would set up a best-of-five postseason matchup against AL Central champion Cleveland. The Athletics, who played later in Seattle, clinched at least a wild-card playoff spot when Tampa Bay lost 4-1 to the New York Yankees.

Dallas Keuchel (12-11) allowed three runs and seven hits in five innings for his first win since Sept. 3 against Minnesota.

Five relievers followed before former Blue Jays closer Roberto Osuna came on to a chorus of boos in the ninth, his first appearance in Toronto since being arrested for assault in May. Osuna, who has 19 saves in 20 opportunities, was traded to the Astros on July 30. Many in the crowd of 23,463 jeered each of Osuna’s pitches.

In the first big league meeting between brothers Yuli Gurriel and Lourdes Gurriel Jr., Houston’s Yuli opened the scoring with an RBI single in the first.

Younger brother Lourdes grounded into a double play in the bottom of the inning, then exited the game because of a sore left hamstring. Yangervis Solarte came on to play third, with Aledmys Diaz moving to shortstop.

McCann belted a second-deck drive off Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada to begin the second, his sixth homer of the season and first since returning from the disabled list Sept. 1 after missing two months because of a right knee injury.

Four pitches later, Reddick homered, his 16th. It was the sixth time this season the Astros have gone back-to-back.

Alex Bregman made it 4-0 with an RBI double in the third, but the Blue Jays answered with Kevin Pillar’s two-run homer in the fourth, his 15th.

Solarte made it 4-3 with an RBI single in the fifth after a throwing error by third baseman J.D. Davis. Toronto loaded the bases with nobody out but Keuchel ended his outing by striking out Justin Smoak, getting Randal Grichuk to ground into a fielder’s choice and then fanning Pillar.

Estrada (7-14) lost his fifth straight decision, allowing four runs and seven hits in 4 2/3 innings.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Charlie Morton, who left Sunday’s game after one inning because of a sore shoulder, returned home to be with his wife, who is about to give birth. Houston manager AJ Hinch said Morton will be re-evaluated when he rejoins the team in Baltimore this weekend. ... SS Carlos Correa (back) was held out of the lineup for the fifth straight game and is expected to sit again Tuesday, Hinch said. ... RHP Lance McCullers Jr. was activated from the disabled list and will pitch in relief over the final week of the regular season. McCullers has been out since Aug. 4 because of a sore elbow. ... The Astros recalled LHP Reymin Guduan from Triple-A.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez missed his scheduled start after leaving the team last weekend to have his troublesome right index finger examined by a specialist. Sanchez missed 54 games earlier this season because of the injury, which happened when Sanchez’s finger got caught in a suitcase hours before a June 21 road start against the Los Angeles Angels. He’s made five starts since returning Aug. 25.

UP NEXT

Astros RHP Josh James (1-0, 2.81 ERA) faces Blue Jays RHP Sam Gaviglio (3-8, 5.18) on Tuesday. James pitched 5 1/3 shutout innings to beat Seattle for his first career win last Tuesday. Gaviglio is winless in four starts.

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