TORONTO (AP) — Mark Buehrle pitched a two-hitter and the Toronto Blue Jays ended a season-worst seven-game losing streak, beating the Houston Astros 4-0 Thursday night.
The last-place Blue Jays had been 0-6 since the All-Star break, swept in consecutive series by Tampa Bay and the Los Angeles Dodgers. Toronto had dropped 14 of 18 overall.
Things were easier for Toronto against the Astros, who’ve won just once since July 13 and have the worst record in baseball at 34-67. Houston lost for the 18th time in 22 games.
Maicer Izturis drove in two runs as the Blue Jays won at home for the first time since July 7.
Buehrle (6-7) struck out a season-high nine — his highest strikeout total since he fanned a career-high 12 against Seattle in April 2005 — and walked two in his first complete game of the season.
Buehrle pitched his ninth career shutout, and first since throwing a perfect game against Tampa Bay in 2009.
The complete game was the 29th of Buehrle’s career but just the second of the season for the Blue Jays. Knuckleballer R.A. Dickey had the other, going the distance at Tampa Bay on June 26.
In Buehrle’s previous start, he matched a season-worst by giving up 10 hits against Tampa Bay. He held the Astros without a hit until Justin Maxwell singled with two outs in the fifth.
Erik Bedard (3-8) lost his fifth straight start, allowing one run and three hits in five innings. He walked one and struck out six. Bedard had walked five or more in three of his past four starts.
Jose Bautista drew a two-out walk in the fourth and scored on Edwin Encarnacion’s double into the right-field corner. Encarnacion was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a triple.
Lucas Harrell walked Bautista and Encarnacion to begin the seventh. Pinch-hitter Adam Lind had an RBI double and Izturis followed with a two-run single over the drawn-in infield.
Houston didn’t put a runner in scoring position until the sixth, when leadoff man Brandon Barnes was hit by a pitch and advanced to second on Jonathan Villar’s sacrifice. Buehrle responded by getting Jose Altuve and Jason Castro to ground out.
J.D. Martinez hit a one-out double in the seventh but Brett Wallace struck out and Maxwell grounded out.
NOTES: Blue Jays RHP Brandon Morrow has been shut down for six weeks with a nerve problem in his forearm, effectively ending his season. … Houston’s 10-game, 11-day road trip also includes three games at Baltimore and three at Minnesota. … The Canadian-born Bedard started in his home country for the first time since 2007. … Astros OF Trevor Crowe (right shoulder) began a rehab assignment with Houston’s Gulf Coast League team.