- Associated Press - Friday, July 7, 2017

TORONTO (AP) - George Springer helped the Houston Astros pummel Aaron Sanchez early, then just kept on raking.

Springer homered twice and tied a career high with five RBIs as Houston rocked Sanchez in his return from the disabled list, propelling the Astros to a 12-2 win over the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday night.

Springer hit his 26th and 27th homers of the season, including a two-run shot off Sanchez (0-2) in the second inning. The All-Star outfielder had four hits, and the Astros improved their major league-leading record to 59-28.

“He can wow you even when you’re around him every day,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Springer, adding that “no park can hold him right now.”

Making his first appearance since May because of a blister on his pitching hand, Sanchez allowed a career-high eight runs in 1 2/3 innings.

Houston’s Carlos Correa extended the longest active hitting streak in the majors to a career-high 15 with his 18th homer in the first inning. Evan Gattis added his seventh homer in the seventh.

The support eased Charlie Morton’s (6-3) return to action. The right-hander, sidelined since May 24 with a right lat strain, gave Houston one-run ball over six innings, surrendering four hits to tie his season low.

“For our offense to come through like that early, it’s just great because it gives me a chance to just go out there and compete,” Morton said. “A little less stress, a little less worry.”

Troy Tulowitzki ended Morton’s shutout bid in the fifth with his sixth home run, a shot to center. Pinch-hitter Ezequiel Carrera added his sixth home run in the ninth against Francis Martes.

Sanchez had been out since May 20. He allowed a pair of homers, seven hits and four walks without getting a strikeout over 55 pitches. He was replaced by Mike Bolsinger during a six-run second inning in which Houston batted around.

“Just one of those nights where things weren’t going my way,” Sanchez said. “Felt like if calls were changed a little different, you can approach an at-bat in a different way, but it didn’t happen. There’s no need to stress about it because you’ll go crazy.”

Jose Altuve added three hits for Houston, and Josh Reddick, Marwin Gonzalez and Carlos Beltran each had RBIs.


The Blue Jays allowed two runs in the first and have a 6.28 ERA in the opening inning this year, the highest mark in the AL.


After converting 21 straight save opportunities, Roberto Osuna had his talents recognized Friday when he was selected for next week’s All-Star Game as an injury replacement. The Mexican right-hander will be the 50th Toronto All-Star and the youngest Blue Jay to ever appear in the game - his 22 years, 154 days will best Dave Stieb’s 22 years, 352 days from 1980.

“I was actually going home on Sunday, so to change the plans and go to the All-Star Game, it’s pretty fun,” Osuna said.


Astros: RHP Dayan Diaz has been optioned to Triple-A to make room for RHP Charlie Morton, who returned from the 10-day disabled list. … RHP J.B. Bukauskas, taken by Houston with the 15th pick in last month’s draft, signed a deal with a $3.6 million signing bonus.

Blue Jays: RHP Dominic Leone was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo to open up a roster spot for Sanchez. … Manager John Gibbons said that Marcus Stroman will make his scheduled start Saturday. Stroman was lifted from his previous start Monday at Yankee Stadium because of a blister on his pitching hand.


Astros: RHP Mike Fiers (5-3, 3.80) is 4-0 in eight starts away from Minute Maid Park this season.

Blue Jays: Stroman (8-5, 3.42) has picked up the loss in three of his last four starts, after going almost two months without one before that.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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