Altuve, Astros take down Blue Jays

Houston, TX ( - Jose Altuve clubbed a three-run homer to help the Houston Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 8-4 on Friday night.

George Springer and Luis Valbuena also homered for the Astros, who have won the first two in this four-game series at Minute Maid Park and five straight overall against the Blue Jays.

Houston's Dallas Keuchel (5-0) gave up four runs in a second straight start, which caused his ERA to jump from a major league-best 1.39 to 1.87. The left- hander allowed eight hits, walked three and struck out five in six-plus innings.

Danny Valencia hit a two-run double for Toronto, which has dropped three games in a row and five of its last six. R.A. Dickey (1-5) was roughed up by the Astros, surrendering seven runs and 10 hits over five innings.

"That's a good ball club over there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "Just outplayed us again tonight."

After scoring three sixth-inning runs to trim their deficit to 7-4, the Blue Jays mounted another threat in the seventh.

Houston manager A.J. Hinch, who turned 41 on Friday, made a call to the bullpen after the first two batters reached base. Will Harris relieved Keuchel with Toronto's 2-3-4 hitters due up and retired them all, sandwiching strikeouts of Josh Donaldson and Edwin Encarnacion around a Jose Bautista popup.

"That was an exceptional inning," Hinch said about Harris. "Coming into the fire, guys on base. There's probably not a tougher 2-3-4 in the league. A lot of damage can be done when you walk into Donaldson, Bautista and Encarnacion."

Valbuena led off the bottom of the seventh with a blast to right field.

Houston scored in three consecutive innings against Dickey, beginning with three runs in the second.

After Chris Carter lofted a sacrifice fly, Marwin Gonzalez and Jake Marisnick hit back-to-back RBI singles with two outs.

Toronto got on the board in the third when Chris Colabello scored on Donaldson's two-out infield single. Bautista then walked to load the bases, but Encarnacion grounded into a fielder's choice.

Springer crushed a home run over the right-center field wall to begin the bottom of the third and Altuve launched a shot to left-center to give the Astros a 7-1 lead in the fourth.

Valencia plated a pair with a two-out double in the sixth and scored on a single by Colabello.

Game Notes

Keuchel has won seven consecutive decisions. He is the first Astros starting pitcher to begin a season 5-0 since Roger Clemens started 9-0 in 2004 ... The Astros improved to 20-0 this season when scoring four-plus runs.