The Toronto Blue Jays gave outgoing manager John Gibbons a winning home sendoff Wednesday with a 3-1 win over the Houston Astros, who broke out the bubbly anyway.
The World Series champion Astros actually clinched another AL West title when Oakland lost in extra innings at Seattle well past midnight Tuesday. Several of the Astros partied at a hotel meeting room, but they held a more traditional clubhouse celebration — complete with rain jackets and goggles — despite this loss. Houston opens their best-of-five Division Series matchup against Cleveland at home on Oct. 5.
Before the game, general manager Ross Atkins announced that Gibbons will not return next season. The 56-year-old Gibbons has one season left on a two-year contract extension he received in April 2017.
After getting the final out, Blue Jays closer Ken Giles gave the ball to Gibbons and the Rogers Centre crowd of 22,828 rose for a standing ovation.
Gibbons was in the midst of a postgame interview when outfielder Kevin Pillar came out and doused his manager with a cooler.
Randal Grichuk hit a two-run homer and rookie Reese McGuire added a solo shot as the Blue Jays won with only three hits.
Grichuk connected off right-hander Chris Devenski in the first, his career-best 25th home run. McGuire led off the fifth with a blast to right, the first of his big league career.
Joe Biagini (4-7) pitched 1 1/3 innings for the win and Giles, the seventh Toronto pitcher of the game, needed just five pitches to wrap it up in the ninth, earning his 25th save in 25 opportunities.
Devenski (2-3) allowed two runs and one hit in two innings.
Houston’s Carlos Correa returned after missing six games because of a sore back and started as the designated hitter. He went 1 for 4 with three strikeouts. His hit was an RBI single in the fourth.
Blue Jays rookie right-hander Sean Reid-Foley allowed one run and one hit in 3 1/3 innings. He walked one and struck out five, including four straight in the first and second.
Astros: RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (right elbow) struck out one in one perfect inning, his first career relief appearance in the regular season. McCullers Jr. last pitched Aug. 4 at Los Angeles against the Dodgers.
Blue Jays: 2B Devon Travis (left knee) will miss the rest of the season. Toronto selected INF Jon Berti from Double-A New Hampshire and transferred INF Brandon Drury (broken left hand) to the 60-day DL. Berti made his first big league start at second base and batted ninth.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (15-5, 2.92) starts Thursday in the opener of a four-game series at Baltimore. Cole has won five straight decisions. RHP David Hess (3-10, 5.14) starts for the Orioles.
Blue Jays: Toronto is off Thursday. LHP Thomas Pannone 94-1, 3.58) starts Friday in the opener of a three-game series at Tampa Bay. Pannone has won three straight starts, including a victory over the Rays last Saturday. RHP Tyler Glasnow (2-7, 4.23) starts for the Rays.
Source: The Associated Press