HOUSTON—It isn't very often that Alex Bregman whiffs on two-straight fastballs, so when he did so in the ninth inning yesterday, it left Houston's third baseman a bit upset.
Fortunately for the Astros, he took out that aggression on the next pitch—connecting for a two-run homer that completed a big rally to lift Houston to a 7-6 win over the Toronto Blue Jays.
It was Bregman's third-straight game with a homer and it capped a huge comeback for the Astros, who trailed 5-0 in the middle of the first inning after a terrible start by Dallas Keuchel.
The Astros trailed by one when Tony Kemp singled off Ryan Tepera (5-3) with no outs in the ninth and advanced to second on a wild pitch.
Then with one out, Bregman sent a fastball to left field, where it bounced off the wall above the Crawford Boxes, to give Houston the victory.
“That was the first guy I've swung and missed two-straight fastballs on this year, I think, besides [Luis] Severino,” Bregman noted.
“So it kind of ticked me off.”
Manager A.J. Hinch wasn't surprised that Bregman came through for his team.
“For him to be able to stay calm in the moment, we've seen this: Alex Bregman, game on the line, ice in his veins,” Hinch said.
Bregman also doubled twice yesterday after hitting a homer and doubling three times in a win Tuesday night.
“I don't know how many hits Bregman had this series but he had too many,” said Jays' manager John Gibbons.
Will Harris (3-3) allowed one hit in a scoreless ninth for the win.
Gibbons was frustrated his team let this one get away.
“That's probably my low point this year because you've got it right there,” he said.
“Those are the teams you want to beat," he added. "I think what magnifies that is anytime you get a 5-0 lead, that's what gets you.”
After the Jays took a 5-0 lead in the first, Houston scored three in the bottom of the first to close the gap and then got within one Evan Gattis' RBI double in the fifth.
But Kevin Pillar singled and scored on an error in the sixth to make it 6-4.
Marwin Gonzalez snapped an 0-for-23 slump with a solo shot to the bullpen in right-centre off Tyler Clippard with two outs in the eighth inning to cut the lead to one.
Jays' starter Marco Estrada allowed seven hits and four runs (three earned) in five innings.
Keuchel, the 2015 AL Cy Young Award winner who hadn't allowed an earned run in his past two starts, gave up seven hits and six runs in 5 1/3 innings.
He settled down after his terrible first inning, allowing just one baserunner over the next four innings.
“Just a tremendous job of staying the course," Hinch said. ”Not getting too mad at himself.
“Not getting too frustrated and just putting up zeros to allow us to make it a game,” he noted.
Elsewhere in the AL, Chicago beat Minnesota 6-1, Boston topped L.A. 9-6, Seattle edged Baltimore 8-7 (11 innings), and Oakland blanked Detroit 3-0.
Over in the NL, Cincinnati nipped Atlanta 6-5, Arizona shaded Miami 2-1, Pittsburgh beat New York 5-3, L.A. topped Chicago 7-5, and San Francisco edged Colorado 1-0.
Kansas City topped Milwaukee 5-4, Philadelphia blanked the N.Y. Yankees 3-0, Texas beat San Diego 5-2, and Cleveland downed St. Louis 5-1 in interleague play.