Chapman double in 9th leads Blue Jays over Astros 4-3

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HOUSTON (AP) — Matt Chapman doubled home Vladimir Guerrero Jr. with two outs in the ninth inning and the Toronto Blue Jays beat the Houston Astros 4-3 Friday night for their third straight win.

Chapman’s tiebreaking drive into the left-center field gap off reliever Héctor Neris (1-1) scored Guerrero from first base. Houston lost its third in a row.

The Astros put runners at the corners with one out in the bottom of the ninth on singles by Yuli Gurriel and Aledmys Díaz off Jordan Romano.

After Jason Castro struck out, J.J. Matijevic was sent to the plate for his major league debut, pinch-hitting for Martín Maldonado. The lefty vs. righty matchup didn't work out for the Astros when Romano fanned Matijevic for his eighth save.

Tim Mayza (1-0) pitched a scoreless eighth.

Justin Verlander made his first start against the Blue Jays since no-hitting them on Sept. 1, 2019, in Toronto. On Friday night, he held Toronto hitless until Raimel Tapia singled to right in the fourth inning.

Verlander went six innings and allowed three runs on four hits. He struck out five and walked one.

The Astros took a 3-0 lead in the third on a one-out double by Maldonado that was followed by a walk to Jeremy Peña and singles from Michael Brantley, Alex Bregman and Gurriel.

The Blue Jays tied it at 3 in the fifth on back-to-back homers from Santiago Espinal and Bradley Zimmer. The solo shots — both to left field — came on consecutive pitches and marked the first homers of the year for both Espinal and Zimmer.

Toronto scored its first run in the fourth after Tapia led off the inning with a single and later scored on a grounder.

Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling allowed five hits in four innings, giving up three runs and striking out two.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Blue Jays: OF George Springer was out of the lineup after being hit in the right wrist on Thursday. Springer said before the game he is hopeful to play on Saturday night. It’s his first trip back to Houston, where he spent seven seasons before signing with Toronto in 2021.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Alek Manoah (2-0, 1.50) starts for Toronto on Saturday. He has pitched into the sixth inning in seven straight starts, giving up two runs or fewer in the last six.

Astros: Jose Urquidy (1-1, 7.00) allowed six runs and eight hits in four innings in an April 17 loss to Seattle.

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More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

The Associated Press

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