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Peña's 2-run homer in 10th leads Astros over Blue Jays 8-7

HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Jeremy Peña hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to lift the Houston Astros to an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday and avoid a sweep. The Astros snapped a four-game skid and ended Toronto's four-game winning streak.
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Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena bend down after being doused with water by teammates after hitting a game-winning two-run home run against the Toronto Blue Jays in the 10th inning of a baseball game Sunday, April 24, 2022, in Houston. The Astros won 8-7 in 10 innings. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Rookie Jeremy Peña hit a two-run homer in the 10th inning to lift the Houston Astros to an 8-7 win over the Toronto Blue Jays Sunday and avoid a sweep.

The Astros snapped a four-game skid and ended Toronto's four-game winning streak.

Kyle Tucker was on second as the automatic runner with one out when Peña connected off closer Jordan Romano (1-0) for a drive to center field. Romano had converted 31 save chances in a row.

Peña, taking over as the Astros shortstop this season after the departure of Carlos Correa, hit his third home run of the year.

Bo Bichette started the Toronto 10th on second before Bryan Abreu (1-0) walked Vladimir Guerrero. There was one out in the inning when Lourdes Gurriel Jr. doubled to the left field corner to make it 7-6.

Michael Brantley hit a two-run homer to help the Astros salvage a 2-4 record in their first homestand of the season.

Zack Collins hit a three-run homer in the sixth and Gurriel added a solo home run for Toronto.

The Blue Jays had a chance to break a 6-all tie in the eighth with runners at first and second with no outs. Reliever Rafael Montero struck out the next two batters before Matt Chapman hit a grounder that Peña misplayed for an error that loaded the bases.

Montero still managed to escape the jam when Raimel Tapia grounded out.

The Astros also missed an opportunity in the eighth. Brantley doubled with one out on a ball that rolled past Gurriel in left field as he slid trying to make the catch. But Gurriel chased the ball down and threw out Brantley trying to stretch the hit.

Santiago Espinal hit an RBI double that put Toronto up 6-5 in the seventh.

Yuli Gurriel doubled to start Houston’s seventh before moving to third on a wild pitch with one out. Aledmys Díaz then lined a single into shallow left field to score Gurriel and tie it at 6-6.

The Astros were up by 3 with two outs in the sixth Collins launched his homer into the seats in right field off Luis Garcia to tie it at 5-all.

Garcia yielded five hits and five runs with six strikeouts in six innings.

Yusei Kikuchi gave up three hits and four runs — two earned — with five walks in 3 2/3 innings.

The Astros took an early lead after an error by Bichette helped them score two in the second.

Toronto didn’t have a baserunner until George Springer doubled to start the fourth before advancing to third on a groundout by Bichette. The Blue Jays cut the lead to 1 when Springer slid into home plate just ahead of the tag on a sacrifice fly by Guerrero.

There was one on and one out in the fourth when Brantley’s two-out shot to the corner of right field extended the lead to 4-1 and chased Kikuchi.

Lourdes Gurriel sent Garcia’s first pitch of the fifth inning into the seats in left field to cut the lead to 4-2.

Yuli Gurriel doubled in the fifth and later scored when Peña reached on an error by first baseman Cavan Biggio.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: 2B Jose Altuve (left hamstring strain) is improving and manager Dusty Baker said he was expected to hit in the cage Sunday and could hit on the field Monday. ... Closer Ryan Pressly (knee) looked good throwing live batting practice Sunday and could be activated early next week.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays: Toronto returns home to open a three-game series with Boston on Monday night when José Berríos (1-0, 6.35 ERA) opposes Red Sox RHP Nathan Eovaldi (1-0, 3.68).

Astros: Houston opens a four-game series at Texas Monday when left-hander Framber Valdez (1-1, 4.59) opposes RHP Dane Dunning (0-1, 5.68).

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Kristie Rieken, The Associated Press