Tue, 26 Sep 2023

Jays welcome back Chris Bassitt for another Astros tilt

Field Level Media
07 Jun 2023, 16:55 GMT+10

Toronto Blue Jays right-hander Chris Bassitt is back from the paternity list and will take the mound against the visiting Houston Astros on Wednesday night in the third game of a four-game series.

Bassitt pitched 7 2/3 effective innings in a 3-0 win against the host New York Mets on Friday afterhis wife, Jessica, went into labor in Toronto.

Bassitt had a private plane waiting to take him to Toronto after his outing, and the baby was born on Saturday.

The Blue Jays swept the Mets in three games and have split the first two games against the Astros.

This will be the second time that Bassitt (6-4, 3.41 ERA) has faced the Astros this season. He pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings April 18 to earn Toronto's only win of the three-game series. In 12 career starts against Houston, he is 4-3 with a 3.90 ERA.

Bassitt is scheduled to oppose right-hander Ronel Blanco (1-0, 4.15 ERA). Blanco has squared off against the Blue Jays just once in his career, when he retired both batters he faced in a relief outing on April 24, 2022.

The return of Bassitt was part of a busy Tuesday of roster moves of the Blue Jays.

Right-hander Alek Manoah, who has struggled all season, was optioned to the rookie-level Florida Complex League (formerly the Gulf Coast League). He retired only one batter in his start against the Astros on Monday, allowing six runs in an 11-4 loss.

An American League Cy Young Award finalist last year, Manoah is 1-7 with a 6.36 ERA through 13 starts for Toronto this year.

"It's not a knee-jerk reaction," Blue Jays manager John Schneider said of the demotion. "Like I've been saying all along, we want to make sure that we're doing everything we can to help him get better. We feel like that's the proper, first initial step. ...

"It wasn't an easy conversation. He understands that the performance hasn't really been there and he just really wants to help the team be in a position to win."

In other moves, right-hander Jay Jackson was optioned to Triple-A Buffalo, right-hander Bowden Francis had his contract purchased from Buffalo, and right-hander Zach Thompson was designated for assignment.

Infielder Santiago Espinal was reinstated from the injured list, having recovered from a hamstring injury, and infielder Ernie Clement was optioned to Buffalo.

Espinal started at third base on Tuesday and went 0-for-3 as Matt Chapman got a day off after having treatment for an ingrown toenail.

The Blue Jays rebounded from the Monday loss to produce a 5-1 victory on Tuesday. Right-hander Kevin Gausman matched his career best with 13 strikeouts in seven innings.

George Springer hit a two-run home run for the Blue Jays, and Daulton Varsho and Bo Bichette added solo shots.

Houston's run came on the second pitch of the game, a home run by Mauricio Dubon. It was the Astros' first home run of the season to lead off a game. Dubon added a single to his second homer of the season, finishing 2-for-4.

"He's nasty," Dubon said of Gausman. "He's one of the best in the game."

The Astros played their fourth consecutive game without Jose Altuve (oblique) on Tuesday. The second baseman is expected to return on Wednesday, according to manager Dusty Baker. Altuve took batting practice before the Tuesday game.

--Field Level Media

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