TORONTO (AP) - Marcus Stroman has another chip on his shoulder.
After pitching the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday, the right-hander said the next time he took the mound should have been at Tuesday’s All-Star Game.
“Absolutely,” he said. “I think I should have been there 100 percent. I think I’ve pitched well enough.”
In his fourth year in the majors, the 5-foot-8 Stroman has already turned what he perceives as a lack of respect into a marketing opportunity, selling “Height Doesn’t Measure Heart” merchandise on his website.
Stroman (9-5) said the All-Star snub fueled him against the high-scoring Astros. He allowed one run and six hits in seven innings, leading the way as Toronto beat Houston for the 10th time in their last 13 meetings.
“That was definitely in the back of my mind when I was out there today,” said Stroman, who was removed from his previous start because of a blister on his pitching hand. “That’s how I am and that’s how I’ll continue to be going forward.”
Josh Donaldson and Troy Tulowitzki each hit a three-run homer for Toronto, which has won four of five. All-Star Justin Smoak added an RBI double in the seventh.
Marwin Gonzalez homered in the ninth for Houston, which hit into four double plays over the first five innings.
“The Donaldson homer and us not being able to break through against Stroman was the deciding outcome,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
Mike Fiers (5-4) pitched six innings in his first road loss since Aug. 14, also in Toronto. He was charged with three runs and five hits.
All-Star Chris Devenski replaced him for the seventh and gave up four runs off three hits in one inning of work.
George Springer put Houston in front with a run-scoring double in the third. It was the sixth RBI of the series for Springer.
Fiers opened with four hitless innings before running into trouble in the fifth.
After plunking Jose Bautista and giving up a hit to Russell Martin, the right-hander surrendered his first home run since May 25 when Donaldson hit a drive to left-center for his ninth of the season.
It was Donaldson’s first homer since June 11 at Seattle and No. 150 for his career.
“I feel like I’ve been able to see the ball better and slow the game down and ultimately have better at-bats,” he said.
Donaldson went 1 for 1 with three walks, raising his batting average to .252. Fiers said the 2015 AL MVP remains a difficult out.
“No matter what the average says he can hit no matter what, so I’m always going to be careful with him,” Fiers said. “I walked him early on but I was in both counts to get him out just didn’t make the right pitch. I ended up walking him and he got me in the fifth.”
Houston star Carlos Correa went 0 for 3 with a walk, ending his career-best 15-game hit streak.
MOVING ON UP
Springer’s third-inning double represented the 45th consecutive game that the Astros have hit at least one double, increasing the franchise record. The hit broke a tie for fourth place all-time with Kansas City (2011-12) and Pittsburgh (2008), and puts them one away from tying the Tampa Bay Rays for the third-longest streak. The major-league record of 75 was set by Cleveland back in 1996.
Donaldson showed off his range and reflexes at third. He leapt to rob Correa of a potential extra-base hit in the third inning, and then threw to first to double up Josh Reddick.
SHUTTING DOWN THE HIT PARADE
After surrendering 11 or more hits in each of their last five home games, the Blue Jays held the Astros to seven. The five games was the longest such streak since a six-game run between May 31 and June 4, 2011.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel will throw off a mound on Sunday, according to Hinch. Keuchel has been sidelined since June 2 with a neck injury.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (6-1, 2.91 ERA) makes his first start at Rogers Centre looking to build on his career-high six wins.
Blue Jays: LHP J.A. Happ (3-5, 3.47 ERA) is 4-1 against the Astros in seven starts.
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