Ross Stripling’s slow start sets tone in Blue Jays’ blowout loss to Astros

Yuli Gurriel homered and tied a career high with four hits while driving in four runs to lead the Houston Astros to a 10-4 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Carlos Correa added a two-run homer and Jose Urquidy (3-2) pitched seven strong innings to help the Astros to their second consecutive victory after they lost their previous three games. Urquidy allowed four hits and two runs for his third straight win after opening the season by losing two decisions.

“He gave up the two home runs, but other than that he was masterful,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He had an outstanding changeup. He has been using his changeup more and that keeps them off his fastball.”

Gurriel, who hit a two-run homer in the fifth, is having a great season and leads the Astros in hits (39) and RBIs (24).

“I’m having a lot of fun,” Gurriel said in Spanish through a translator. “I’m just glad I’m helping the team win. To be able to do that makes me feel really good.”

Bo Bichette put the Blue Jays up early with a solo homer to left field with one out in the first.

Gurriel singled to start Houston’s second before Correa knocked a homer off the foul pole in left field to put the Astros up 2-1. The bases were loaded with two outs in the inning when Blue Jays starter Ross Stripling (0-2) walked Alex Bregman to make it 3-1.

“The one thing that he did he kept us in the game with no command,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoyo said of Stripling. “We have to keep him in there because we don’t have enough pitching to cover that many innings. He’s got to give us more than that, but he deserves credit for keeping us in the game.”

There was one out in the third when Danny Jansen connected off Urquidy on his second home run this season to cut the lead to 3-2.

The Astros were up by 3-2 with one out in the fifth when Gurriel hit his two-run shot off Tim Mayza.

Stripling allowed six hits and three runs in 3 2/3 innings to remain winless in four starts with the Blue Jays this season.

“These guys, they’re really good,” Stripling said. “They command the zone well and they made me work.”

Gurriel, who also singled in the third, added an RBI single on a grounder in the seventh to push the lead to 6-2. Kyle Tucker’s RBI double later in the inning left Houston up 7-2.

Gurriel drove in another run with a sacrifice fly in Houston’s three-run eighth.

Teoscar Hernandez hit his third homer this season, a two-run shot that cut the lead to 10-4 in the ninth.

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