HOUSTON -- Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada said it was impressive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch called it funky, but good, and catcher Brian McCann described it as nice. But to the Blue Jays' Rob Refsnyder, who scored Saturday's game-winning run with a nifty, evasive slide, he might've just been lucky.Refsnyder
HOUSTON -- Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada said it was impressive. Astros manager A.J. Hinch called it funky, but good, and catcher Brian McCann described it as nice. But to the Blue Jays' Rob Refsnyder, who scored Saturday's game-winning run with a nifty, evasive slide, he might've just been lucky.
Refsnyder drew a one-out walk in the 10th inning against former teammate Francisco Liriano, now a left-handed reliever with the Astros after Monday's Trade Deadline deal. Refsnyder stole second base before Steve Pearce struck out, then raced home on Ryan Goins' single and sneaked his game-winning palm underneath the outstretched arm of McCann to send the Blue Jays to a 4-3 win.
"I knew it was going to be close," Refsnyder said. "I was just trying to time it up. ... He was going to make his tag, and I just tried to avoid it. … I was lucky enough to get in there, I guess."
The Astros challenged the safe call, but it would stand after review.
"When a play like that, bang-bang, you can't really see anything," said McCann, Refsnyder's teammate with the Yankees in 2015-16. "It's one of those you dive and hope for the best. He made a nice slide."
Said Blue Jays manager John Gibbons, "Obviously, the play of the game. It gave us the lead."
"It was a funky slide," Hinch said. "We didn't control 90 feet with the stolen base and they get the single. The play at the plate, we didn't even wait for the review to see what it was. We were going to challenge it anyway because it was a game-defining play. The call stood, which means if he'd have called him out they probably wouldn't have switched it over either. That's part of the game. We felt we had a chance to get him out. The ball kicked to McCann's right a little bit which created a different angle for him to tag and the runner made a good slide."
With the score tied at 3 apiece, Blue Jays shortstop Ryan Goins dribbled an RBI single into left field while Refsnyder was on second base in the 10th inning. Astros left fielder Derek Fisher collected the roller with Refsnyder a few feet past third base, rounding his way home.
"I looked up and was like, 'Man, that's going to be close,'" said Blue Jays starter Marco Estrada. "The fielder already had the ball by the time he touched third. I knew it was going to be close. Luckily, the throw was a little bit off and Rob got his hand in there somehow.
"It was awesome. At first, I thought he was going to be out because of the way McCann dove in there. But he somehow snuck his hand in. It was a pretty impressive slide. I was pretty happy about it."
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston. He covered the Blue Jays on Saturday.