TORONTO (AP) — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons thought Brandon Morrow "had that look about him" as he faced the Houston Astros on Wednesday night.
For the first time in almost 11 months, it was the look of a winner.
Brett Lawrie hit a two-run homer, Morrow pitched six solid innings and Toronto beat Houston 7-3 for its third victory in four games.
Gibbons said Morrow was "very, very good" after the right-hander allowed three runs and five hits in six innings, walked one and struck out nine.
"I thought he was very aggressive tonight," Gibbons said.
Morrow (1-1), limited to 10 starts last season with a nerve injury in his forearm, won for the first time since May 23, 2013, when he beat Baltimore.
"I felt good, so I was throwing with some conviction and with plenty behind it," Morrow said.
Alex Presley hit a two-run homer for the Astros, who have lost six of seven following a 2-0 start.
Morrow retired the first nine batters in order, striking out six, but walked Dexter Fowler to begin the fourth on a ball-four pitch that sailed to the backstop. One out later, Jason Castro singled through the left side for Houston's first hit.
Neil Wagner, recalled from Triple-A Buffalo before the game, pitched two perfect innings of relief. Steve Delabar got one out in the ninth, but had to leave after he was hit on the lower right leg by Jose Altuve's liner. Esmil Rogers finished for Toronto.
Delabar said the ball struck him on the right calf, hitting muscle rather than bone.
"It'll be sore a couple of days, but it's no big deal," Gibbons said.
Jose Bautista hit an RBI double in the first and Adam Lind added an RBI single as the Blue Jays jumped out to a quick lead against Houston right-hander Lucas Harrell.
"I didn't throw very well," Harrell said. "First inning, I came out a little sluggish, let some balls out over the plate."
Toronto made it 5-0 in a three-run fifth thanks to an error by Astros third baseman Matt Dominguez. With one out, Houston intentionally walked Lind to load the bases for Dioner Navarro, who hit a grounder to third. Dominguez tried to throw to second to start a double play, but his high toss ended up in right field, scoring two runs.
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