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Blue Jays 2, Astros 1

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- Toronto rookie Ryan Goins drove in the winning run in the top of the ninth inning and the Blue Jays snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating the Houston Astros 2-1 Sunday afternoon at Minute Maid Park.

Houston took a 1-0 lead into the ninth and handed the ball to rookie closer Chia-Jen Lo to save the game for starter Dallas Keuchel. But Lo was not up to the task, walking three of the five batters he faced before giving way to Kevin Chapman.

Casey Janssen worked around a two-out Houston rally in the ninth to pick up his 23rd save of the season by getting Astros rookie Cody Clark to ground out to second with the bases loaded to end the game.

Blue Jays starter Mark Buehrle (10-7) pitched eight solid innings, giving up just one earned run on seven hits, while walking two and striking out seven. Sunday marked Buehrle's second straight dazzling start against Houston. He shut out Houston on July 25 as the Blue Jays beat the Astros 4-0 at Rogers Centre.

With the Astros trying to sweep a three-game series for the first time since early June at Los Angeles, Keuchel pitched seven scoreless innings and did not allow a runner to reach third base.

Keuchel had given up 13 runs in his last four appearances (three starts), but mixed his pitches well against the reeling Blue Jays, who had lost seven straight -- all on the road. Keuchel gave up just four hits, while striking out two and walking three on Sunday.

Jonathan Villar had three hits and Robbie Grossman added two more for the Astros, who lost to the Blue Jays for the first time ever at Minute Maid Park. Houston swept a three-game series against Toronto in 2005.

The Astros scored their only run in the second inning.

Buehrle worked his way out of trouble in the second inning after the Astros loaded the bases with no outs on a walk and two singles by Brandon Barnes and Villar.

The Astros got just one run when Jake Elmore to ground into a double play. Buehrle then induced a soft lineout by Clark to escape more trouble.

Keuchel, who had been hit pretty hard in six of his past nine appearances, only gave up one hit in his first four innings of work. Despite a relatively high pitch count -- 60 through four innings -- Keuchel used an effective cutter to get out of trouble.

NOTES -- Astros OF Grossman singled in his first at-bat Sunday to extend his hitting streak to a career-high 12 games. ... With both backup catchers suffering from concussions, Clark made his first major league start behind the play. He went 0-for-4. ... Astros backup catcher Carlos Corporan is on the seven-day disabled list with a concussion. He had a CT scan on Friday in Houston. The veteran will not travel with the Astros to Chicago to play the White Sox later this week.
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