Three things you need to know about the Blue Jays’ 8-7 extra-inning loss to the Astros in Houston on Sunday:

Save streak over

Rookie Jeremy Pena has some pretty big shoes to fill in Houston, having taken over at shortstop from Carlos Correa, who left for Minnesota as a free agent.

Pena came up huge in the 10th inning Sunday, blasting a 2-and-0 fastball — neither down nor in enough — 425 feet over the wall in dead center for his third home run of the season, ending the game.

The 24-year-old had been 0-for-10 in the series, but he turned around a 97-mile-per-hour heater from Jordan Romano, who blew a save for the first time since April 8, 2021. In between , Romano put together a club-record streak of 31 save opportunities converted, including eight over the first 14 games of this season.

long and short

The Jays trailed 5-2 going into the sixth inning, but tied the game with a two-out rally. With George Springer at first, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. smacked a first-pitch cutter directly into the ground in front of him. It took a big hop toward the third-base line, then died in the grass for an infield single. Zack Collins followed with a mammoth three-run homer to right, his third of the season, to knot things up. Collins is tied with Springer, trailing only Guerrero’s five for the club lead in home runs.

stranded

Despite scoring seven runs, the Jays went just 2-for-12 with runners in scoring position and stranded seven runners, all from the seventh inning on. Amazingly, that actually raised their club average in such situations for the season from .159 to .160. The good thing is, they’ve got the best record in the American League at 10-6 in spite of that ugliness, and they can’t be that bad in those spots much longer.

Mike Wilner is a Toronto-based baseball columnist for the Star and host of the baseball podcast “Deep Left Field.” Follow him on Twitter: @wilnerness



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