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Astros pounce on Feldman in 14th to end duel

August 2, 2016

HOUSTON -- In a game featuring 40 strikeouts, 12 hits and 14 innings, offense was in short supply Monday night at Minute Maid Park, but the Astros found just enough to eke out a 2-1 win."What a finish," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We didn't do a lot, but we

HOUSTON -- In a game featuring 40 strikeouts, 12 hits and 14 innings, offense was in short supply Monday night at Minute Maid Park, but the Astros found just enough to eke out a 2-1 win.
"What a finish," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We didn't do a lot, but we did enough, just enough to pull that one out."
Carlos Correa hit an RBI double off Scott Feldman, who was traded from Houston to Toronto earlier in the day, to score José Altuve and secure an Astros win to open a four-game series.

"A few hours ago, he's in our clubhouse and a big part of our chemistry and our culture and then we walk him off," Hinch said of Feldman. "Obviously, as competitors, as soon as he changes uniforms, you change your affection for that guy, but I legitimately have some weird feelings about seeing him on the other side."
Feldman pressed into action on whirlwind day
Both starters put together strong outings. Toronto's Marcus Stroman went seven innings, allowing only three hits and a home run while striking out a career-high 13 batters, while Houston's Doug Fister didn't allow a run in six innings and struck out a season-high eight.
Altuve's sixth-inning solo shot appeared to be the game-winner until All-Star closer Will Harris blew his second save opportunity in three days. Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin drilled a home run over the train tracks at Minute Maid Park, his eighth of the season, to tie the game at 1 in the top of the ninth.

The Astros have won eight straight and 13 of their last 15 against the Blue Jays at Minute Maid Park. The win snaps a three-game losing streak for Houston and hands Toronto a second straight loss.
"Feldman wasn't supposed to pitch tonight, he threw a lot of pitches yesterday, but for his team he went out there," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "We just couldn't get any offense. We had that one home run by Russ and that was about it. They pitched really well, too."

Devo domination: With the game tied in the ninth after the blown save, right-hander Chris Devenski entered in relief and dominated for 4 1/3 flawless innings. He struck out seven consecutive batters and became the 11th reliever since 1913 to pitch at least four perfect innings with seven or more strikeouts.
"What a gutsy performance and certainly one of the highlights of the night," Hinch said. More >

Martin makes his mark: Martin gave the Blue Jays some life in the ninth inning with a massive shot to deep left field. According to Statcast™, Martin's eighth homer of the year was projected to travel 444 feet and left his bat at 110 mph. Toronto entered the inning having gone 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and the club was struggling to generate any kind of offense until Martin came through with the timely shot. The homer was the longest he has hit during the Statcast™ era (since 2015).
"They have good arms, all the way throughout the whole game," Martin said. "Fister did a good job of attacking. I never saw him really fall behind anybody. I felt like it was strike one against everybody. ... Then their bullpen did an awesome job. As did ours. It was one of those pitching battles throughout the whole game today but they scored one more than us."

Not closing time: Since getting his ERA down to a season-low 0.57 on June 17, Harris has given up eight runs in 11 2/3 innings. With Ken Giles pitching as well as he has all season, Harris' role as the closer going forward could be a little in doubt.
"We'll look at our options," Hinch said. "It's never good to discuss it after a 14-inning, draining game, but we've had some hiccups there at the end. We'll talk about it for sure."

Sizzlin' strikeouts: Stroman deserved a much-better fate on this night of limited run support. The 25-year-old looked strong and finished his outing by striking out the side in the seventh. He finished with a career-high 13 strikeouts, which was the most by a Toronto starter this season. Stroman also became the first Blue Jays pitcher to strike out at least 13 and walk one or fewer since Roger Clemens in 1998.
"I felt really relaxed, felt strong and I felt like me and Russell got into a pretty good groove early and carried that throughout the game," Stroman said. "I think it was just the mix of pitches … I was hitting on my slider pretty well all night and I also had my sinker going. Everything kind of plays off my heater. When that's down, I use all of my other pitches off that."

Baby on board: With his wife expected to have a baby sometime during the week, it wasn't a sure thing that Fister would even pitch Monday night. Regardless, the 32-year-old made the start for the Astros and went six scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and a walk.
"Everything's good at home," Fister said. "My wife was in the stands. I was definitely focused tonight and had every bit of focus that I needed."

Springer chases down foul ball, tumbles over wall
"Best I've ever seen him. Just an electric fastball. The cutter-slider was awesome. The curveball was good, he mixed some changeups in there, too. Just overall, he looked composed on the mound. I told him, he's looking like Pedro Martinez out there. He was nasty today." -- Martin, on Stroman
• Astros pitchers combined for 22 strikeouts, which is the second-highest total in a game in franchise history. The club record is 23, set in 2003. The Blue Jays set a franchise record by striking out 22 times. The previous record was 19, which had been done in a 17-inning game against the Yankees on April 19, 2001. More >
Blue Jays: Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey (7-12, 4.66 ERA) will take the mound when the four-game series continues against the Astros on Tuesday at 8:10 p.m. ET. Dickey will look to turn things around after he allowed 17 earned runs over his last three starts vs. the A's, Mariners and Padres.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (6-4, 3.18) takes the mound Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT, after striking out 10 in each of his last two starts. During the month of July, McCullers owned the highest K-per-9 ratio (13.05) in the American League.
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Jordan Ray is a reporter for based in Houston and covered the Astros on Monday.

Gregor Chisholm has covered the Blue

Jays for since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @gregorMLB and Facebook, and listen to his [podcast](