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Springer greets Houston fans with leadoff HR, Blue Jays win

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HOUSTON – George Springer was greeted with a rousing ovation from the home crowd as he approached the plate in his first game against the Houston Astros, his former team.

Moments later Springer used his bat to say thanks, slugging a leadoff homer to help the Toronto Blue Jays to a 3-2 win Saturday.

“It’s pretty emotional,” Springer said. “I don’t really know how to explain it. It’s weird. It’s cool at the same time. But I’m just glad I can help us win.”

Santiago Espinal homered for the second straight game for the Blue Jays to send the Astros to their fourth loss in a row.

The game was tied at 2 with one out in the seventh inning when Espinal, who hit his first homer this season in a win Friday night, connected off Blake Taylor (0-1).

The Blue Jays lead the majors with 20 home runs after clubbing four in the first two games of this series.

Alek Manoah (3-0) allowed seven hits and two runs while fanning five in six innings.

“This is the first time we’ve seen him,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He has good stuff, he has real good stuff, and when you’re not hitting everybody seems like they’ve got good stuff. But he indeed had good stuff.”

“This is the first time we’ve seen him,” manager Dusty Baker said. “He has good stuff, he has real good stuff, and when you’re not hitting everybody seems like they’ve got good stuff. But he indeed had good stuff.”

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