- Associated Press - Saturday, August 2, 2014

HOUSTON (AP) - Juan Francisco appeared to have tied the game in the eighth inning for Toronto on Saturday night.

Robbie Grossman had other ideas, and things went quickly downhill after that for the Blue Jays.

Jon Singleton wound up with an inside-the-park home run after a call was reversed on video replay, Chris Carter and Jason Castro also homered, and the Houston Astros beat Toronto 8-2.

Francisco’s drive to right field appeared to have just enough to get into the stands, but Grossman pulled it back in to end the inning.

“It will take the wind out of you when you think you have tied the game up,” Josh Thole said. “He (Grossman) made a great play. Hats off to him. What a great catch to go into the stands and get it.”

Singleton’s and Castro’s home runs followed in the bottom of the inning.

“We (nearly) tie the game right there, and they pour it on late,” Toronto manager John Gibbons said.

R.A. Dickey (9-11) was tagged for five runs and nine hits over seven-plus innings. He struck out three. It was Dickey’s first loss since July 18 after winning his previous two starts.

“I had a fine knuckleball,” Dickey said. “It’s just unfortunate that they barreled up some in some big situations, and that was it.”

Nolan Reimold and Jose Bautista each drove in a run for the Blue Jays, who left seven on base and were 1 for 6 with runners in scoring position.

Brett Oberholtzer pitched seven strong innings, and Jose Altuve scored the go-ahead run from first base on consecutive throwing errors by Toronto in the fifth.

Singleton drove in L.J. Hoes in the eighth before getting called out on the tag at home plate. The Astros appealed the call and had it reversed upon review.

The Astros have homered in nine consecutive games. They led the American League in home runs in July with 32.

Oberholtzer (4-7) gave up two runs and six hits while striking out five and walking one to win his second consecutive start. He retired his last 10 batters.

Following a single, Altuve scored the tiebreaking run the fifth as he bolted toward second and third after a botched pickoff attempt by Dickey and came home after third baseman Steve Tolleson failed to secure Danny Valencia’s errant throw.

Carter homered off Dickey later in the fifth.

Castro hit a two-run homer off reliever Brett Cecil in the eighth inning before Singleton hit his 10th homer of the season off a deep fly ball to center that caromed off the bullpen fence.


Fans in attendance at Minute Maid Park were treated to a rare experience - outdoor baseball in Houston in August. The game was the first since 2004 to be played with the roof open in August.

Dickey said the open roof did affect his knuckleball.

“It was hot and humid, but I was fine,” he said. “I had a fine knuckleball.”


Blue Jays: Infielder Brett Lawrie (broken right index finger) continued his rehab assignment with Class-A Dunedin on Saturday night, playing third base. Lawrie fractured the finger June 22. He began his assignment Friday.

Astros: Infielder Marwin Gonzalez (right hamstring) is expected to see action Sunday for the first time since July 29. With the Astros having a day off Monday, Porter decided to give Gonzalez an extra day. “He could have played today,” he said. . Jesus Guzman, who left Friday’s game with back spasms, underwent chest X-rays, which came back negative. Porter said Guzman will undergo more tests in the coming days.


Blue Jays rookie right-hander Marcus Stroman (7-2, 3.03) looks to continue his hot streak Sunday, opposite right-hander Scott Feldman (4-8, 4.39 ERA), who aims for his first win since June 29. Stroman has won his last three starts, allowing just one run in that span.



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