- Associated Press - Friday, August 12, 2016

TORONTO (AP) - Francisco Liriano won’t have fond memories of his first home start with the Blue Jays.

Joe Musgrove pitched seven innings for his first major league win, Teoscar Hernandez homered for his first big league hit and the Houston Astros beat Toronto and Liriano 5-3 on Friday night.

Making his second start for Toronto since being acquired in an Aug. 1 trade with Pittsburgh, Liriano allowed five runs and eight hits in 5 2-3 innings.

“I was behind in the count a lot so that didn’t help,” Liriano said through a translator.

Liriano walked two batters and both came around to score. He has failed to reach the seventh inning 13 times in his past 15 outings.

“I’ve been trying to look for answers,” Liriano said. “I try to go out there and do my job, but things have been happening a lot for me this year.”

Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said Liriano pitched better than his line.

“I didn’t think he was that bad,” Gibbons said. “He’s got a live ball. They did square a couple of balls up and they were costly.”

Edwin Encarnacion hit his 300th home run and Michael Saunders hit his career-high 20th, but the Blue Jays lost for the first time in four meetings with the Astros.

“Good for Eddie,” Gibbons said. “He puts himself in a different category with 300.”

Astros DH Evan Gattis had four hits, including two doubles. Hernandez had two hits and reached base three times while George Springer singled and walked three times.

Carlos Correa and Jose Altuve had two RBIs each as Houston extended its winning streak to four.

Making his second career start, and facing the team that drafted him in 2011, Musgrove (1-0) allowed two runs and six hits.

“It’s awesome,” Musgrove said. “It’s definitely good to get that first one out of the way, get the nerves and stuff out of the way.”

The Blue Jays traded Musgrove to the Astros in July 2012, as part of a nine-player deal that sent left-hander J.A. Happ to Toronto.

Hernandez found out Thursday that he was being selected from Triple-A, and was too excited to sleep before catching a 4:00 a.m. flight from Fresno. He finally arrived at Rogers Centre about an hour before the game, and didn’t even have time to take any swings before his first at-bat, a walk. He homered in the sixth and singled in the eighth.

“Incredible day, a day that I’m never going to forget,” Hernandez said.


Toronto is the fifth team in the majors with at least three hitters with 20 homers (Encarnacion, Josh Donaldson, Saunders). The others are Baltimore, Colorado, Detroit, and Seattle. The Orioles have four 20-homer hitters.


Cuban infielder Yulieski Gurriel, who signed a five-year, $47.5 million deal with Houston on July 16, is expected to make his major league debut against St. Louis on Tuesday. Gurriel defected in February after competing in the Caribbean World Series in the Dominican Republic. He entered play Friday batting .321 with one home run and nine RBIs in eight games at three minor league levels.


Astros: OF Colby Rasmus had surgery Wednesday to remove a cyst from his right ear. He is expected back by mid-September. … OF Jake Marisnick (right groin) was not in the lineup for a second straight game. He is day-to-day. … OF Preston Tucker (right shoulder) was placed on the 15-day DL. … Houston activated RHP Luke Gregerson (left oblique) off the 15-day DL and put RHP Ken Giles on the paternity list.

Blue Jays: OF Ezequiel Carrera (left Achilles) went 0 for 4 and struck out three times in a rehab game at Triple-A Buffalo. Carrera is expected to come off the DL on Tuesday.


Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (7-9, 4.69) has lost his past three decisions. McHugh matched a season-worst by giving up 10 hits in an Aug. 8 start at Minnesota.

Blue Jays: RHP Aaron Sanchez (11-2, 2.85) lost at Kansas City in his previous start, his first defeat since April 22 against Oakland. Gibbons confirmed Friday Sanchez will be skipped in the rotation over the next few weeks in an effort to limit his innings.

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