Astros power past Jays in Dream Bracket 2 play
HOUSTON -- The 2019 Astros put on an impressive offensive display, reaching double-digit runs three times, to overwhelm the 1993 Blue Jays and eliminate them in six games in the best-of-seven series in the second round of Major League Baseball’s Dream Bracket 2.
George Springer led the charge for Houston, going 10-for-27 with four home runs and nine RBIs as the Astros outscored the Jays, 43-25, in the six-game series. Yuli Gurriel went 6-for-22 with two homers and eight RBIs, and José Altuve drove in eight runs in the series.
The Astros advance to face the 1942 Kansas City Monarchs of the Negro Leagues, who upset the ’98 Yankees in seven games.
The simulated competition, featuring many of the greatest teams in baseball history, is being produced by Out of the Park Baseball 21, MLB‘s most realistic strategy game (PC and Mac).
Here’s how the Astros advanced:
Game 1: Astros 4, Blue Jays 3
The Astros rallied for two runs in the ninth inning to break a tie and then held on in the bottom of the frame to beat the Jays. Michael Brantley’s two-run single gave Houston a 4-2 lead in the ninth and Brantley played the hero moments later when he threw out Tony Fernandez at home plate trying to score the tying run on a Devon White single for the final out of the game. Justin Verlander threw 6 2/3 scoreless innings for Houston.
Game 2: Blue Jays 11, Astros 10 (12 innings)
In what’s sure to be remembered as one of the all-time great games, the Blue Jays blew a 9-4 lead before tying the game in the bottom of the ninth and winning it in dramatic fashion in the 12th on an Ed Sprague single off Brad Peacock that scored John Olerud. Each team had 14 hits, with Josh Reddick (4-for-5), Altuve (2-for-6, six RBIs, including a grand slam in a six-run sixth) and Springer (3-for-5) leading the way for the Astros, who used nine pitchers.
Game 3: Astros 10, Blue Jays 2
Three-run homers by Yordan Alvarez and Springer keyed a seven-run fifth inning that allowed the Astros to pull away and bury the Blue Jays. Springer, who also homered in the first off Dave Stewart, went 2-for-4 with four RBIs, and Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa had two hits each. Zack Greinke held Toronto to two runs and five hits over six innings, and Brad Peacock struck out four in two innings in relief. Hector Rondón threw a scoreless ninth to close it out.
Game 4: Astros 3, Blue Jays 1
Springer blasted his third homer of the series, a two-run shot in the fifth off Todd Stottlemyre, and Bregman homered in the sixth to send the Astros to a win despite getting only five hits. Houston used five relievers after starter Wade Miley allowed one earned in 5 2/3 innings. Joe Smith, Ryan Pressly, Will Harris, Chris Devenski and Roberto Osuna combined for 3 1/3 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits.
Game 5: Blue Jays 5, Astros 2
The Astros were held to five hits and couldn’t overcome a shaky start by Verlander, who allowed three runs and seven hits and struck out nine over 4 2/3 innings. Olerud homered off Verlander in the first inning, and Paul Molitor and Joe Carter added homers off Houston’s bullpen. Brantley hit a solo homer in the fourth for Houston, which managed just one baserunner over the final four innings against Toronto's bullpen.
Game 6: Astros 14, Blue Jays 3
A 14-hit offensive explosion, which included a first-inning homer by Springer and two homers by Gurriel, sent the Astros to a series-clinching rout of the Blue Jays. Every Astros starter had at least one hit, with Brantley (3-for-6) and Alvarez (3-for-6) leading the way. Houston seized control with three runs in the first and took a 7-0 lead after a Gurriel grand slam in the third. Gurriel homered again in a seven-run seventh that put the game out of reach. Gerrit Cole struck out seven batters in five innings for the win.