Houston Astros' Robbie Grossman rounds the bases after his two run homer as Toronto Blue Jays pitcher R.A. Dickey makes his way back to the mound during fifth inning AL baseball action in Toronto on Thursday April 10

Blue Jays grounded by Astros

TORONTO — Toronto ace R.A. Dickey felt like he had complete-game potential at the start of Thursday’s game against Houston. He was in decent form over the first four innings before the Astros turned on a few floating knuckleballers and built a lead that was too much for the Blue Jays to overcome.

TORONTO — Toronto ace R.A. Dickey felt like he had complete-game potential at the start of Thursday’s game against Houston.

He was in decent form over the first four innings before the Astros turned on a few floating knuckleballers and built a lead that was too much for the Blue Jays to overcome.

Dickey gave up a two-run homer to Robbie Grossman in the fifth inning and a three-run shot to Jonathan Villar in the seventh as Toronto missed a chance for a three-game sweep by dropping a 6-4 decision to Houston at Rogers Centre.

“It’s a real surprise when I have a knuckleball like that and have the outcome that we had,” Dickey said.

Jason Castro added a solo shot in the eighth inning off reliever Esmil Rogers to help send Toronto (5-5) back to the .500 mark. Colby Rasmus hit a solo homer for the Blue Jays, who scratched out three runs in the bottom of the ninth to make a game of it.

“We’re disappointed, but they outplayed us,” said Toronto manager John Gibbons.

Dickey (1-2) allowed five earned runs, three walks and six hits over seven innings. He said he was pleased with the speed and action on his knuckleball.

“It was moving so much, I was throwing it hard, it felt great out of my hand,” Dickey said. “And then we just had a couple of hiccups and it happened really quickly.”

Starter Dallas Keuchel (1-1), meanwhile, was sharp for Houston (4-6). He went seven innings and allowed five hits and one earned run.

“He really showed it tonight against a really good hitting lineup,” said Astros manager Bo Porter. “He was outstanding.”

Keuchel has now gone at least seven innings in each of his three career starts against Toronto.

“Those guys that have got a little finesse, a little command, they have a tendency to give us problems,” Gibbons said.

Toronto brought the potential tying run to the plate in the ninth but Maicer Izturis hit a comebacker to Anthony Bass, who recorded the one out for his first save.

Leadoff man Melky Cabrera doubled in the first inning to extend his hitting streak to 10 games. He moved to third on a sacrifice bunt but was left stranded when Jose Bautista popped up and Edwin Encarnacion grounded out.

Castro led off the fourth inning with a sharp single to centre field for the Astros’ first hit of the game.

He was forced out at second base when Jose Altuve hit into a fielder’s choice.

Dickey caught Altuve leaning towards second base on a leadoff and picked him off for the second out before fanning Chris Carter.

Marc Krauss led off the fifth with a double off the wall in right-centre field and moved to third when Matt Dominguez grounded out to first base. Grossman turned on a 3-0 pitch for his first homer of the season.

Dominguez made a stellar defensive play in the fifth inning to rob Brett Lawrie of Langley, B.C., of a sure hit. The Houston third baseman dived to his left and threw from his knees to get the speedy Canadian by a half-step.

Rasmus followed with a solo homer that hit the facing of the second level in right-centre field. It was his first home run of the season.

Gibbons challenged a call later in the frame when Cabrera was called out at first base. Cabrera stumbled out of the batter’s box and Dominguez bobbled the ball at third base before recovering to fire a throw that was barely in time at first.

The umpires reviewed the play and the original call stood to end the inning.

In the seventh, Dominguez hit a one-out double and Grossman walked. After a visit to the mound by pitching coach Pete Walker, Villar crushed Dickey’s first pitch to deep centre for his second homer of the season.

Just Posted

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

Red Deer readies for supervised drug consumption site

Now all we need is an application for one

Rent subsidies for Asooahum Crossing tenants sought from Red Deer city council

Coun. Lee feels the city should be ‘last resort’ for housing subsidy requests

Castor murderer denies he’s a killer

Jason Klaus tells courtroom he loved his family who were murdered in December 2013

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

RDC chosen to host 2019 men’s volleyball national championship

Sports enthusiasts in Red Deer will have more to look forward to… Continue reading

Police is still looking for Second World War army passport owner

No one has claimed a rare Second World War German army passport… Continue reading

DJ Sabatoge and TR3 Band kick off Sylvan Lake’s Winterfest 2018

Central Alberta’s youngest DJ will open for TR3 Band kicking off Town… Continue reading

Two Canadians, two Americans abducted in Nigeria are freed

Kidnapping for ransom is common in Nigeria, especially on the Kaduna to Abuja highway

WATCH news on the go: Replay Red Deer Jan. 21

Watch news highlights from Red Deer and Central Alberta

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Are you ready for some wrestling? WWE’s ‘Raw’ marks 25 years

WWE flagship show is set to mark its 25th anniversary on Monday

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month