Dioner Navarro was like the eye of the hurricane on Tuesday night. Navarro was at the centre of all things meaningful in the Blue Jays 5-2 victory over the Houston Astros. At the plate the Jays catcher drove in two runs with a pair of doubles and in the eighth he made the tag on a play that was challenged by Houston manager Bo Porter. The Jays got the out call on the play and again on the appeal. While Navarro drove in two, so too did Melky (Home Run) Cabrera, whose eighth-inning shot gave the Jays some much needed breathing room. It was the fourth homer in four consecutive games for Cabrera, who is tied for the team lead with Jose Bautista, who socked a solo shot in the first. The Jays expected homers from Bautista not Cabrera, whose career high is the 18, he stroked in 2011 for the Kansas City Royals. Last year in his injury-plagued season with the Jays he hit three in 344 at-bats. “It’s a good park to hit home runs, that’s for sure,” manager John Gibbons said of Cabrera’s power surge. “I thought last year he had a chance to hit some home runs here but he’s not noted for being a home run hitter. He’s off to a good start and he and Jose keep going back and forth with a little competition.” On the mound for the Jays, Mark Buehrle didn’t have the great stuff that he had in his first start of the season, but it was good enough. It’s tough to follow up on a four-hit scoreless outing over 82/3 innings like he twirled last Wednesday against the Tampa Bay Rays. After that outing, Buehrle said it was a game where he could do no wrong, that he hit the glove just about every pitch. Against the Astros the veteran left-hander had to work harder but picked up the win to go 2-0 on the season. Through the opening five innings Buehrle had a runner in scoring position each and every inning and allowed just the one run to score. That, friends, is pitching. After a one out single in the sixth and just 81 pitches, Buehrle was lifted for Steve Delabar. “Tonight was one of the ones I had to battle,” Buehrle said. “I was fortunate to give up just one run in 51/3 innings. It could have been a game I gave up eight to 10 runs. “If I don’t go six innings I don’t feel I’ve done my job. This is one of those games where we won the game, I got the win but it almost feels like I don’t deserve it.” Winning without your best stuff, though, is what veteran pitchers do. Offensively, the Jays remained in their funk, this time against lefty Brett Oberholtzer. They managed just five hits but made them count as besides the two RBI doubles by Navarro, Jose Bautista delivered a solo shot in the first and then there was Cabrera’s key two-run homer in the seventh.
Navarro's all-around play lifts Blue Jays over Astros
Toronto Sun | Apr 9