Major League Baseball
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Astros hold off Blue Jays, avert sweep

Toronto, ON ( - Robbie Grossman, Jonathan Villar and Jason Castro all homered to back a solid start from Dallas Keuchel, as the Houston Astros avoided a three-game sweep against the Toronto Blue Jays with a 6-4 win at Rogers Centre.

Grossman smashed a two-run shot in the fifth, Villar ripped a three-run blast in the seventh and Castro clubbed a solo homer in the eighth in support of Keuchel (1-1), who struck out six and allowed just a run on five hits and two walks over seven innings.

Chad Qualls spun a scoreless eighth before Astros closer Josh Fields ran into trouble in the ninth, giving up a leadoff walk to Dioner Navarro and a one-out single to Colby Rasmus.

Fields bounced back to retire Erik Kratz, but Adam Lind delivered a two-out, two-run double to left to bring the Blue Jays within 6-3.

Anthony Bass then entered from the bullpen and got Melky Cabrera to cue one back toward the mound, but the Houston right-hander air-mailed his throw to first to allow Lind to score and Cabrera to roll into second.

Maicer Izturis then stepped to the plate as the tying run, but Bass induced a comebacker that he fielded easily before flipping to first to nail down his first save of the season and second of his career.

Rasmus registered three hits, including a solo homer, and scored twice, while Blue Jays starter R.A. Dickey (1-2) surrendered five runs on six hits and three walks over seven innings to absorb the loss.

Dickey had his patented knuckleball dancing early on, with the Toronto right- hander allowing just one hit over the first four frames.

The Astros finally solved Dickey in the fifth, as Marc Krauss clubbed a leadoff double and moved to third on a groundout before trotting home when Grossman followed with a blast to right-center field.

Grossman got ahead in the count 3-0 before drilling a Dickey knuckleball over the wall in right-center for his first homer of the season and a 2-0 lead.

Rasmus responded with one away in the home half when he jumped on a first- pitch fastball and launched it deep into the seats in center to make it 2-1.

The Astros got to Dickey again in the seventh, as Matt Dominguez scorched a one-out double and Grossman worked a walk, prompting the Blue Jays to call a meeting on the mound.

Whatever was said on the bump didn't work, as Villar ripped Dickey's next offering over the wall in straightaway center field to make it 5-1 Houston.

Esmil Rogers replaced Dickey to start the eighth and was greeted by Castro, who clubbed a 2-2 fastball deep to right-center to extend Houston's edge to 6-1.

Game Notes

Houston entered the game tied for second in the American League with 11 home runs this season ... Cabrera went 2-for-5 to extend his hitting streak to 10 games ... The Blue Jays wrapped up a six-game homestand at 3-3 and will open a 10-day, nine-game road trip Thursday in Baltimore ... Houston will continue its six-game road trip on Friday when it visits the Rangers ... Toronto finished 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.

04/10 22:40:27 ET