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Grandy's HRs, Grichuk's catch lift Blue Jays

Sensational grab in 9th robs Springer of tying 3-run homer
MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Blue Jays leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson's first hit ball against Astros starter Justin Verlander never came down. Later, two more of Granderson's swings against his former teammate resulted in balls that never came back.

Granderson, Verlander's former teammate with the Tigers, belted tying and go-ahead solo homers in the fifth and seventh innings in a 6-3 win on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

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HOUSTON -- Blue Jays leadoff hitter Curtis Granderson's first hit ball against Astros starter Justin Verlander never came down. Later, two more of Granderson's swings against his former teammate resulted in balls that never came back.

Granderson, Verlander's former teammate with the Tigers, belted tying and go-ahead solo homers in the fifth and seventh innings in a 6-3 win on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

View Full Game Coverage

Video: Must C Clutch: Granderson smacks 2 HRs off Verlander

Blue Jays right fielder Randal Grichuk, a native of the Houston suburb of Rosenberg, made a sensational home run-saving catch in the ninth to rob George Springer with two on and none out. Grichuk also belted a two-run insurance home run against Astros reliever Will Harris following Verlander's exit. Grichuk's blast, which traveled a projected 471 feet according to Statcast™, was the longest recorded home run at Minute Maid Park since Statcast™ was introduced in 2015 and the longest by a Blue Jays hitter this season.

"It was huge, obviously," said manager John Gibbons, whose team is now 3-2 in this seven-game road trip against the Angels and Astros. "What a return home for the kid to hit that bomb and make that play."

Just innings after shooting a foul pop into the rafters, a ball that oddly never came down, Granderson's third and fourth career jacks against Verlander sent the Blue Jays toward an 11th win in their past 17 games.

"I still have no idea what happened on that," Granderson said. "I've never hit a ball that high before."

Video: Must C Curious: Granderson's popup never comes down

Blue Jays starter J.A. Happ also was supported with a two-out, two-run double from Justin Smoak in the first inning. Toronto combined for seven total hits and a season-high four earned runs against Verlander.

Happ allowed seven hits and three earned runs in six innings, raising his ERA sightly from 3.56 to 3.62.

MOMENT THAT MATTERED
Tony Kemp drew a walk and Josh Reddick singled to begin the Astros' ninth inning to set up Springer, who represented the potential tying run. Springer's drive, which traveled a projected 368 feet, according to Statcast™, was heading the first row of the right-field bleachers before finding Grichuk's glove. More >

Video: TOR@HOU: Grichuck crushes mammoth 471-ft home run

"I was playing a little deeper," Grichuk said. "We all know Springer has great power. He takes some massive hacks. I've seen him just poke balls over that wall. I kind of ran it through my head as he was walking to the plate. These are the plays you dream of. You don't really get them too often. Exactly what you hoped for happened."

SOUND SMART
Teoscar Hernandez logged three hits in his first career game against the Astros, who traded Hernandez to the Blue Jays last July in a deal sending Francisco Liriano to Houston. According to Statcast™, Hernandez recorded exit velocities of faster than 98 mph in four plate appearances against Verlander, including a 107.8 mph drive for a single in the seventh inning.

UP NEXT
The Blue Jays continue their series against the Astros at 8:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. Left-hander Ryan Borucki, ranked as Toronto's No. 8 prospect by MLB Pipeline, is reportedly expected to start in his Major League debut. Borucki has a 3.27 ERA in 13 starts with Triple-A Buffalo. Right-hander Charlie Morton will start for Houston.

Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Texas.

Toronto Blue Jays, Curtis Granderson, Randal Grichuk