The Toronto Blue Jays are on a roll, winning two straight games and splitting the first two games of the four-game series against the Houston Astros. They are now looking to clinch the series with their third consecutive win on Thursday night. Jose Berrios will be on the mound, hoping to replicate the strong starting pitching performances from Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt.
Berrios previously lost to the Astros earlier this season, but he will have the advantage of pitching at home this time. The Astros will start Framber Valdez, who has a mediocre record against Toronto in his career. The Astros will also have second baseman Jose Altuve back in the lineup after missing four games due to injury.
The Blue Jays are coming off a closely contested 3-2 win over the Astros on Wednesday night. Chris Bassitt put up an excellent performance, pitching eight innings and allowing just four hits and two runs. Bo Bichette and Brandon Belt hit solo home runs for the Blue Jays while Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run home run for the Astros. Pinch hitter Alejandro Kirk hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning to give the Blue Jays the lead. Toronto closer Jordan Romano retired the next three batters, including a sliding catch by Kevin Kiermaier, to earn his 16th save of the season.
The Blue Jays have had an eventful week, with Alek Manoah's demotion to the lowest level of the minors after a poor two months of the season. However, the team's other starters, Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt, have provided steady and sensational performances. Gausman tied a career-high of 13 strikeouts in seven one-run innings, while Bassitt pitched eight innings and allowed just two runs in Wednesday's win over the Astros.
Manager John Schneider praised the veteran experience of Gausman and Bassitt, who have been able to navigate deep into games and save the bullpen. The Blue Jays have relied heavily on these two starters this season, and without their quality starts, the team would be in real trouble.
In summary, the Toronto Blue Jays are looking to win their third consecutive game and clinch the series against the Houston Astros with Jose Berrios as their starting pitcher. The team has relied heavily on the quality starts of Kevin Gausman and Chris Bassitt, who have provided sensational performances in the past week.