Pregame Notes: Houston Astros, Hernandez visit the Blue Jays


After taking three games out of a four-game set over the Baltimore Orioles, the first-place Houston Astros will begin a six-game road trip beginning in Toronto against the Blue Jays.

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They found themselves in a pitchers duel yesterday but were unable to complete the sweep, dropping the series finale by the score of 3-2 behind the Adam Jones home run in the eighth inning. Catcher Hank Conger had a couple of key at-bats for the Astros (34-21), finishing the game 2-for-4 with a game-tying big fly and a double.

First baseman Chris Carter extended his hitting streak to 12-games with a double to left field that moved Evan Gattis to third base. Gattis would eventually score on a Luis Valbuena sacrifice fly, giving Houston a one-run lead in the fourth inning.

They would be unable to rally late with Orioles’ closer Zach Britton in the game. Britton recorded a five-out save to help salvage the final game of the series and hand Darren O’Day the win.

Tonight in Toronto (25-30), skipper A.J. Hinch will send 34-year-old right-handed starter Roberto Hernandez to the mound. Hernandez (2-4, 4.92 ERA) has struggled over his last two outings, allowing a combined 11 earned runs on 17 hits with a 7/4 K/BB ratio across 10 2/3 frames.

In his previous outing while hosting the team who defeated this organization in the 2005 World Series, Hernandez let the White Sox hang a huge three spot in the top half of the third. With the bases loaded with Sox, Conor Gillaspie extended his team’s lead to 3-0 on a two-run single to right field.

Houston eventually fell victim to a 6-0 shutout despite recording the same amount of hits as the winning team. Both teams combined for 10 hits while the only error of the game was credited to the Astros.

Starting opposite Hernandez will be 22-year-old Aaron Sanchez. Sanchez (4-4, 3.88 ERA) has worked three-straight quality starts for the Toronto Blue Jays to finish out the month of May and hopes to continue his strong performance to begin June.

Toronto’s young right-hander held the Minnesota Twins to only two earned runs on seven hits including a big fly with two walks and five strikeouts. He picked up a no-decision as the Twins would go on to winning that game, 3-2.

Here’s a look at tonight’s starting lineups:

First pitch is slated for 6:07 p.m. central time and will air on Root Sports, KBME 790.

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