TORONTO (AP) — Melky Cabrera spent his winter working out with teammate Jose Bautista. Finally, pain-free after a difficult debut season in Toronto, Cabrera is starting to slug like Bautista, too.
Cabrera homered for the fourth straight game, Bautista also went deep and the Toronto Blue Jays beat Houston 5-2 on Tuesday night, handing the Astros their fifth loss in six games.
Cabrera hit a two-run shot off reliever Kevin Chapman in the seventh, connecting on an 0-2 pitch. He has hit more home runs in eight games this season than he did in 88 last season, when he missed time with leg injuries before having a benign tumor removed from his spine on Aug. 30.
"I feel 100 percent now and I'm ready to go," Cabrera said through a translator. "It's good. I don't have any pain now."
Cabrera's home run streak began Friday night, when he welcomed Yankees right-hander Masahiro Tanaka to the big leagues with a leadoff blast. Cabrera hit a solo shot in the eighth inning Saturday, then added another leadoff drive Sunday.
"We're in a good park to hit home runs, that's for sure," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said. "I thought when we signed him last year he had a chance to hit some home runs here."
Toronto left-hander Mark Buehrle said the change in Cabrera's game is pronounced.
"Even playing the outfield it seems like he's a little quicker," Buehrle said. "Last year he didn't seem like the same guy that I've seen playing against him for all those years."
Buehrle (2-0) allowed one run and eight hits in 5 1-3 innings, walked one and struck out three.
"I'm fortunate to get away with giving up one run," Buehrle said. "That could have been a game where I give up eight to 10 runs."
Sergio Santos struck out the side in the ninth for his third save in three chances.
Brett Oberholtzer (0-2) gave up three runs and three hits in 5 1-3 innings for Houston. He walked three and struck out three.
Bautista opened the scoring Tuesday with a two-out solo homer in the first, his fourth of the season and just his sixth hit overall.
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