The Houston Astros made use of a season-high 19 hits to claim an 11-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays during their Monday night clash. Corey Julks hit his first-ever career grand slam, while Kyle Tucker and Yordan Alvarez both hit solo homers and Jake Meyers added a two-run blast to help the Astros win for the eighth time in their past 11 matches. Brandon Bielak also matched his career high by pitching 6 2/3 innings, allowing just three runs and 10 hits to achieve his third win in four starts. Meyers and Astros catcher Yainer Diaz each had four hits during the match.
After RBI singles by Alvarez and Tucker, Julks capped the first inning with his first-pitch drive off struggling Blue Jays right-hander Alek Manoah. The homer was Julks’ fifth of the season. Manoah failed to get out of the first in his seventh straight losing decision, retiring just one of the nine batters he faced. Some in the crowd booed Manoah, an All-Star and AL Cy Young Award finalist last season.
Astros manager Dusty Baker praised Bielak for taking his team deep into the game, stating that the team was trying to keep him on until the seventh to avoid going through too much of its bullpen. Manoah, however, had a rough night after allowing six runs on seven hits in just one inning.
Facing left-hander Tim Mayza, Julks batted with the bases loaded again in the eighth, but grounded into an inning-ending fielder’s choice. Alvarez and Tucker connected off Trevor Richards in the fourth, while Meyers hit a two-run blast off Anthony Bass in the fifth.
Blue Jays RHP Anthony Bass was booed when he took to the field in the fifth. Bass apologized last week for expressing support on social media for anti-LGBTQ+ boycotts of Target and Bud Light.
Astros 2B Jose Altuve missed his third straight game due to a sore right oblique, which he tweaked on an awkward swing Friday. Baker stated that Altuve is feeling better and could return Tuesday or Wednesday. Houston selected INF Grae Kessinger from Triple-A Sugar Land, transferring RHP Luis Garcia to the 60-day injured list.
The next match will take place between the Toronto Blue Jays and Houston Astros, with Blue Jays RHP Kevin Gausman going up against Astros RHP Hunter Brown on Tuesday night. Gausman allowed a season-high eight runs in an April 17 loss at Houston.