HOUSTON – Trent Thornton was looking forward to Sunday’s game against the Astros since he was traded to Toronto in the off-season.
He delivered arguably his best start of the season.
Thornton shut down his former team into the seventh inning, Teoscar Hernández hit two of Toronto’s season-high five home runs and the Blue Jays hammered the Houston Astros 12-0.
“I knew I was going to be pretty amped up for this game, but I just kind of wanted to slow things down and execute each pitch,” Thornton said. “For the most part, I was able to do that. And the bats just exploded, so it was a great team win.”
Thornton (2-5) scattered six singles, struck out seven and walked three in 6 2/3 innings. He has given up no more than three runs in six of his last seven starts.
“He just keeps getting better the more he pitches,” Toronto manager Charlie Montoya said. “For a rookie to be that good, he’s already got the record for strikeouts for a rookie for the Blue Jays. That’s impressive. He’s done a good job. He’s getting better every time he takes the mound.”
Thornton was drafted by the Astros in 2015. The 25-year-old righty was dealt to Toronto for Aledmys Diaz.
“I wanted to see when we were going to play against Houston because I played with a lot of those guys, came up in the system with a lot of those guys and close with a lot of those guys,” Thornton said. “It was just going to be a fun game to pitch with a little chip on my shoulder.”
Freddy Galvis and Hernández each hit three-run homers in a seven-run sixth inning. Hernández added a solo drive in the ninth off Tyler White, who started the game at first base.
Lourdes Gurriel Jr. launched a long, 452-foot two-run homer and had an RBI single and sacrifice fly. Rowdy Tellez also homered.
The 12 runs matched a season high set Thursday at the Orioles.
“It was a good road trip for us,” Montoya said. “Swinging the bats of course, we faced a couple of tough pitchers for Houston but other than that, 3-2 road trip, we swing the bats better. It was great to see.”
Brad Peacock (6-4) went five innings and allowed four runs for the second straight start.
“He had a tough time getting into the game and then the one slider to Gurriel that ended his outing,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “All in all, I think he was doing fine to control the game with what he could. A couple homers and a couple mistakes — not a horrible game for him — but not a day that feels good for anybody.
Peacock said he was struggling to locate the four-seam fastball.
“It wasn’t very good,” Peacock said of his outing. “There was one pitch I’d like to have back to Gurriel. Out of the hand, I kind of knew something bad was going to happen. It didn’t feel good. I’m in a little funk right now, but I’ll find a way to get out of it.”
White, regularly a first baseman and designated hitter, got a nice ovation when he took the mound for the ninth inning. White, who had pitched in two other games this season, allowed one run on two hits. This was his fifth career pitching appearance in the majors — he’s allowed five runs in 4 2/3 innings overall.
Blue Jays: 3B Vladimir Guerrero Jr. returned to the lineup as the designated hitter. He finished 1 for 5. Guerrero missed Saturday’s game after getting hit by a pitch on his hand on Friday.
Astros: OF George Springer (left hamstring strain) took flyballs in the outfield prior to the game. He is expected to run the bases on Monday in Cincinnati before a possible rehabilitation assignment. “We want him to do every single thing that we can think of to get him ready to play,” Hinch said. “We are going to an extreme for him basically because of how long he’s been out.” .. 2B Jose Altuve (left hamstring strain) will play in rehabilitation games Sunday and Monday with Triple-A Round Rock.
Blue Jays: RHP Edwin Jackson (1-4, 10.22 ERA) starts Monday in the opener of a four-game series against the Angels. Jackson earned the win in his last start Wednesday against the Orioles, allowing two runs over five innings.
Astros: LHP Wade Miley (6-3, 3.14) starts Monday in the first of a three-game series at the Reds. Miley threw six shutout innings in his last start on June 9 against the Orioles.
© 2019 The Canadian Press