The Toronto Blue Jays marched into Houston as one of the hottest teams in baseball, in steady pursuit of their first AL East title in more than 20 years.
After Sunday’s 6-1 loss to the fledgling Houston Astros, however, the Blue Jays limped out of Houston as losers of three straight.
Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said his team was simply outplayed by Houston, playing down the sudden losing streak.
“Everybody is tired,” Gibbons said. “We didn’t pitch particularly well. We had some opportunities that we weren’t able to cash in on.”
After mowing through the first legs of a 10-game road trip in New York and Boston, Toronto was outscored 22-10 in the four-game series.
Ryan Goins’s run-scoring single in the second gave Toronto an early lead Sunday. But the Blue Jays didn’t do much more against veteran right-hander Scott Feldman, who scattered eight hits in his first complete game in nearly a year.
Feldman (5-8) retired 17 of the last 19 batters, including nine straight at one point, and won for the first time since June 29. It was his first complete game since Sept. 6, 2013, against the White Sox.
Marcus Stroman (7-3) allowed five runs on seven hits in three-plus innings. He had allowed one run in 21 innings over his past three starts.
“I’ve had other instances where I didn’t have my best stuff, and I was able to battle,” Stroman said. “Today was just a bad day.”
Jose Reyes had three hits for Toronto. He remained in the game after sliding headfirst into second in the first inning and appearing to hurt his right shoulder on the play.
He later stole his 20th base of the season. Did he cautiously slide feet first on the steal? No way.
“Through my career, I always slide in headfirst,” Reyes said. “Thank God, I’ve never had any problems. I’m going to continue to do it.”
Matt Dominguez and Jake Marisnick hit run-scoring singles in the fourth to chase Stroman. Robbie Grossman drew a bases-loaded walk off Todd Redmond later in the fourth to make it 5-1.
Dominguez, Jon Singleton and Marisnick each had two hits as Houston won its fifth in the past seven games.
Toronto outfielder Melky Cabrera had his hitting streak snapped at 10 games after going 0 for 4. Cabrera, who ranks second in the majors with 142 hits and is third in multihit games with 41, has a hit in 89 of 112 games this year.
The Jays are off on Monday before returning home to start a three-game series against division rival Baltimore on Tuesday. Lefty Mark Buehrle (11-7, 3.11) will start Tuesday for the Blue Jays.