Zack Greinke pitched his first complete game since 2017, Carlos Correa homered twice and Martin Maldonado hit a grand slam, leading the Houston Astros over the Toronto Blue Jays 13-1 on Friday night.
Maldonado drove in five runs and Aledmys Diaz also homered as Houston handed the Blue Jays their first loss in three games at their temporary home in Buffalo.
Greinke (6-2) gave up six hits, walked one and struck out three, throwing 102 pitches.
It was his first complete game since going eight innings in a 1-0 loss for Arizona at San Diego on April 19, 2017. The 37-year-old righty’s previous nine-inning complete game was June 7, 2016, with Arizona against Tampa Bay.
“This was one of the first times where I felt really strong at the end,” Greinke said. “Most games I feel a little tired later on. Today it felt just as good, if not better, in the last inning, as it did in the first inning.”
The win was the 214th of Greinke’s career, tying him with Mark Buehrle and Rick Reuschel for 91st on the all-time list.
The Astros won for the fifth time in six games.
Houston manager Dusty Baker enjoyed watching Greinke and his club’s 13-run see outburst after mustering only a ninth-inning run on Thursday against Boston.
“He had everything working,” Baker said. “Fastball, breaking ball, including his defence up the middle. He’s been a lifesaver not only for us, but our bullpen. It’s fun to watch him pitch. (Scoring runs is) very important for the confidence of the team. Nobody wants to be left out.”
Randal Grichuk homered for Toronto, which absorbed its largest margin of defeat since a 20-6 loss at Yankee Stadium last Sept. 15.
Toronto starter Hyun Jin Ryu (5-3) allowed seven runs on seven hits and three walks in 5 2/3 innings. He struggled after retiring his first seven batters, finishing with more walks than strikeouts for the first time since April 2, 2018. Ryu fanned a season low of just one against the Astros.
The Blue Jays’ bullpen hit another rough patch, as Carl Edwards Jr. allowed Diaz’s homer in the seventh and Tyler Chatwood allowed hits to all six batters he faced in the eighth.
“Ryu was one pitch away from getting out of trouble and keeping us in the game,” Blue Jays manager Charlie Montoyo said. “Everybody in our bullpen has to pick somebody else up.”
Correa hit a solo homer in the fifth for a 3-0 lead. Maldonado’s second career slam broke the game open in the sixth and ended Ryu’s night. Correa hit a three-run shot in the eighth to give him his 10th career multihomer game.
“It’s good when you work so hard on a daily basis to have consistent at-bats,” Maldonado said. “I’ve been seeing the ball good.”
Baker gave Maldonado a lot of credit, too.
“He’s been working religiously and tirelessly in the cage,” Baker said. “He was better than he was swinging, and getting a little frustrated in the last week. We’re glad he had a big night.”
Entering Friday’s game, seven qualifying players had a batting average of .300 or better in the American League, and five of them were Astros or Blue Jays.
Toronto’s Vladimir Guerrero Jr. led with a .335 average and teammate Marcus Semien was seventh with a .301 mark.
Representing the Astros, Yuli Gurriel ranked fourth at .310 with Alvarez sixth at .304. Michael Brantley, sidelined for the last 10 games with a tight right hamstring, was fifth at .305.
Toronto dealt RHP Ty Tice, who was designated for assignment on May 22, to the Atlanta Braves for cash. Tice appeared in four games for Toronto, including his major league debut on April 9 vs. the Angels, working seven innings overall. He then pitched one inning for Buffalo on May 18.
The 24-year old, who attended the University of Central Arkansas, has a 2.07 ERA in 114 minor league games.