Davis Schneider’s homer in 9th rallies Jays past Astros

Davis Schneider belted a two-run home run with two outs in the top of the ninth inning as the Toronto Blue Jays rallied for a 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park.

Schneider launched a 1-1 slider from Astros closer Josh Hader 423 feet and out to left-center field, plating pinch-runner Daulton Varsho with his second home run. Varsho ran for Justin Turner, who finished 3-for-3 and worked a two-out walk against Hader (0-2) to initiate the rally.

Chad Green (1-0) earned the win in relief for the Blue Jays, benefitting from two baserunning outs by the Astros. Jose Altuve, who homered leading off the fourth, was erased between third base and home plate to end the eighth inning and pinch-runner Jake Meyers tripped attempting to swipe second base for the second out of the ninth.

Astros left-hander Framber Valdez carried a shutout into the eighth, bouncing back from an uneven Opening Day start against the New York Yankees when he issued six walks and failed to escape the fifth. He flexed far superior control against Toronto.

Valdez retired the Blue Jays in order in the second and sixth innings and faced the minimum in the third and seventh by inducing double-play grounders from Kevin Kiermaier and Alejandro Kirk. He departed with two outs in the eighth and Kiermaier on first base, and Astros reliever Ryan Pressly preserved the scoreless outing for Valdez by getting George Springer to roll an inning-ending grounder to third baseman Alex Bregman.

Valdez needed some help from his defense to get his scoreless start underway. After surrendering a two-out single to Bo Bichette in the first, Valdez allowed the first of two doubles to Turner.

Bichette rounded third and headed home on Turner’s double to left field, but he was erased at the plate by Bregman, who took the throw from Yordan Alvarez and made an accurate relay to catcher Victor Caratini.

Valdez did not allow another runner to reach third base. He allowed six hits, recorded five strikeouts and did not issue a walk.

Blue Jays right-hander Jose Berrios nearly matched Valdez pitch for pitch. He faced the minimum through three innings and needed only 29 pitches to complete one trip through the Houston lineup.

But Altuve ambushed Berrios’ fastball leading off the fourth inning with his 404-foot drive to left-center field. Berrios held the line there, surrendering six hits and three walks while striking out two over six innings. Toronto reliever Yimi Garcia stranded two baserunners in the seventh.

The Astros finished 1-for-8 with runners in scoring position and left six runners on base.

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