Toronto, ON (SportsNetwork.com) - Brett Lawrie stroked a two-run homer to help the Toronto Blue Jays to a 7-3 victory over the Houston Astros in the middle installment of a three-game set.
Melky Cabrera, Maicer Izturis, and Dioner Navarro each supplied two hits for the Blue Jays, who have won three of their last four. Brandon Morrow (1-1) allowed three runs on five hits with nine strikeouts in six innings to earn the win.
"I thought he was very aggressive tonight," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Morrow.
Alex Presley hit a two-run homer and Jose Altuve tripled in Houston's third straight loss. Starter Lucas Harrell (0-2) gave up five runs -- four earned -- with three walks over 4 1/3 frames.
The Blue Jays started the scoring in the first. Izturis singled on a line drive to center with one out and Jose Bautista brought him around with a line drive double to right. Two batters later, Adam Lind singled up the middle to score Bautista, making it a 2-0 game.
"First inning, I came out a little sluggish, left some balls out over the plate," Harrell said.
Morrow's perfect game was broken up after he issued a walk to Dexter Fowler to open the fourth. Two batters later, Castro registered Houston's first hit with a single to left, placing runners on the corners with one out. Morrow struck out the next two batters to end the inning.
Cabrera singled to center to lead off the home half of the fifth. He stole second before Izturis stroked a grounder up the middle for an RBI single, giving the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead.
Harrell walked Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion grounded out, moving the runners up to second and third. Lind was intentionally walked to load the bases in hopes of a double play. Navarro reached on a fielder's choice after Matt Dominguez lofted his throw from third over the head of Altuve at second base and into right field, allowing Izturis and Bautista to reach home.
The Astros got three back in the sixth. Fowler singled to left and Presley smacked a first-pitch fastball into the right center field seats. After Jason Castro flied out to right, Altuve stroked a triple into center field. He was brought home when Chris Carter grounded out.
Lawrie drilled a two-run shot into left-center field to extend Toronto's lead to 7-3 in the seventh.
In all nine Toronto games this season, the decision has been given to the starting pitcher ... Bautista has reached base safely in all nine games this season ... Houston reliever Jerome Williams exited the sixth with a right groin strain ... An Astros starting pitcher has received a decision, win or loss, in each of the club's first nine games of the season, the last time this happened in franchise history was in 1989.