for this game

Johnson, Astros rally to down Jays

May 21, 2011 - 7:04 AM Toronto, ON (Sports Network) - Chris Johnson hit a two-run homer in the top of the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros rallied to beat the Toronto Blue Jays, 5-2, in the opener of a three-game interleague series at Rogers Centre.

Hunter Pence ignited the comeback by stroking a game-tying two-run double in the eighth off Toronto reliever Jon Rauch, who had retired the first two batters with ease.

"[Pence] and [Johnson] came through with big hits for us," Astros manager Brad Mills said.

Frank Francisco (1-1) didn't fare as well in the ninth. After issuing a one- out walk to Matt Downs, Francisco served up a 3-2 fastball that Johnson launched over the left-field wall, giving Houston a 4-2 lead. Michael Bourn tacked on an RBI single later in the frame.

The Blue Jays went down quietly in the home half as Mark Melancon notched his second save of the season.

Bourn collected three hits for Houston, which snapped a five-game losing streak. Astros rookie Aneury Rodriguez gave up two runs and eight hits in his 5 1/3-inning start, while Johnson's blast made a winner out of Wilton Lopez (1-1).

Toronto starter Jo-Jo Reyes tossed seven scoreless innings, but remains in search of his first win since June 13, 2008 because of the bullpen, which entered play on Friday with an AL-best 2.72 earned run average. The left- hander has now gone 27 consecutive starts without recording a positive decision.

"It was one of the rare occasions so far this year where we didn't convert coming out of the bullpen," Blue Jays manager John Farrell said.

Houston put its first two batters of the game on base, as Bourn reached on a bunt single and Clint Barmes walked. After both runners moved up on a groundout, Reyes fanned Carlos Lee and Jason Michaels to end the inning.

Toronto scratched out a run in the second. Aaron Hill led off the frame with a double, but made a poor base running decision on a grounder fielded by the shortstop and was thrown out at third. Juan Rivera took first on the fielder's choice and J.P. Arencibia followed with a double to left field. A groundout by Eric Thames produced the game's first run.

Like he did in his first at-bat, Hill started the sixth with a two-base hit, and the Blue Jays had men on the corners after Rivera's pop fly to right fell in between second baseman Bill Hall and Pence for a single.

Sergio Escalona then replaced Rodriguez and struck out Thames. Enerio Del Rosario took over on the mound and Rajai Davis greeted him by sending his first pitch to left for an RBI single, extending Toronto's lead to 2-0.

Rauch replaced Reyes to begin the eighth. Bourn drew a walk to prolong the inning and Barmes grounded a single up the middle before Pence plated both runners with a double to right.

Game Notes

The Astros are making their first-ever trip to Toronto. They swept a three- game set from the Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park in 2005, the only other meeting between the two teams...Houston also halted a six-game skid on the road...Reyes allowed five hits and recorded a season-high seven strikeouts...Toronto was 7-11 last season in interleague play, while Houston dropped 12 of 15 to the American League a year ago...Blue Jays outfielder Corey Patterson extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a two-out single in the third. It was also the 1,000th hit of his career...Toronto placed pitcher Jesse Litsch on the 15-day disabled list Friday with a right shoulder impingement.

  • HOUSTON: 5
    TORONTO: 2

    May 20 10:13 PM

  • Michael Bourn infield single to pitcher scored Angel Sanchez.. Runner on first with two outs and Clint Barmes due up.

    Astros 5, Blue Jays 2  Top 9, 2 OutsMay 20 10:03 PM

  • Angel Sanchez singled to center. Runner on first with one out and J.R. Towles due up.

    Astros 4, Blue Jays 2  Top 9, 1 OutMay 20 9:55 PM

  • Hunter Pence doubled to right scored Michael Bourn and Clint Barmes. Runner on second with two outs and Carlos Lee due up.

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  • Rajai Davis singled to left scored Aaron Hill. On the play, Juan Rivera advances to second. Runners on first and second with two outs and Jayson Nix due up.

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  • Eric Thames grounded out second to first scored Juan Rivera. On the play, J.P. Arencibia advances to third. Runner on third with two outs and Rajai Davis due up.

    Astros 0, Blue Jays 1  Bot 2, 2 OutsMay 20 7:39 PM
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  • HOUSTON: 0
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