"I felt great. I felt like I was doing my mechanics well. I think the best part about tonight was I didn't even think about my finger once," said Sanchez, who had three separate stints on the disabled list due to a blister under his finger nail of his right middle finger. "When you're coming off the DL stint that's given me so much trouble in this finger, I went out there, I was aggressive. I felt like I was who I was before all that stuff happened, so that's a plus."
Friday marked Sanchez's shortest outing since his 13-pitch appearance on April 30, when his return from surgery to repair the blister was cut short.
Despite the line, Sanchez felt he was closer than the numbers indicate.
"I thought there were a lot of close calls out there. ... I'll leave it at that," the pitcher said.
The Astros got to Sanchez early.
After issuing back-to-back singles to open the first, Sanchez got Josh Reddick to ground into a double play. But with two outs, Carlos Correa took a 2-1 pitch deep for his 18th homer of the season.
"If things go different, maybe I'm not out after an inning and two-thirds. I felt like my stuff was coming out of my hand very easy," Sanchez said. "I had that sink that I had before the issue, and I think even better. It's just one of those things. I felt like tonight was all over the place in terms of what happened after I let go of the pitch, and those are things I can't control. What I can control is what I'll work on, and all the other stuff, I'll just move on."
The 25-year-old didn't get much help from his defense either.
With two on and one out in the second, Sanchez induced a grounder to shortstop Troy Tulowitzki for a potential inning-ending double play. But Tulowitzki tossed it to second baseman Ryan Goins, who wasn't at the base, and the ball fell for an error. That loaded the bases for the Astros, who went on to score three more runs in the six-run inning.
"At the end of the day, it shouldn't happen," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of the miscues. "They happen sometimes and they all realize it."
Sanchez entered Friday's game with a 90-pitch limit; he left after just 55 pitches -- 28 for strikes. Sanchez didn't record a strikeout in a start for the first time in his career.
"Not enough strikes, but in saying that, I thought he was close a lot of the times," Gibbons said. "He gave up a couple scratch hits early right out of the gates, and then he gets the big ground ball and then Correa hit that one, which was pretty impressive, because I don't think that was too bad a pitch.
"He looked strong, but they were swinging. If you make mistakes, they're hitting it. I don't think it was as bad as the line looked, 'cause he was close."
Dhiren Mahiban is a contributor to MLB.com who covered the Blue Jays on Friday.