HOUSTON – Astros hitter Yordan Alvarez admitted he hasn’t had much sleep since his son was born on Friday. That didn’t stop him from returning to the lineup on Tuesday and putting in the kind of performance that likely sent A starting pitcher Chris Bassitt to a sleepless night.
Alvarez, in his first game off the fatherhood list, marked the Astros’ biggest comeback of the season, hitting a pair of home runs, including a three-run tie in the fifth inning, to send Houston to its fifth win. in a row, 9-6, on the A’s at Minute Maid Park.
“It’s exciting to be able to play that role in the game, to be a bit behind in the game and to be able with one hit, one big hit, bring it down to one. [tie] game is pretty much huge, ”Alvarez said. “It’s a very exciting time for me.
The Astros (53-33), who entered the game with a season-high 3-1 / 2-game lead over Oakland (49-38) in the American League West, were drawing from the fullback, 6-2, after the A’s left Houston. the Framber Valdez starter. Alvarez kept the Astros in the game with a two-run homer in the middle of the first one that traveled 420 feet.
“I’m happy for Yordan and the birth of his child, and I think he did a good job celebrating it tonight,” Valdez said.
Alvarez, who intentionally stepped in the sixth and was on the bridge at the top of the ninth, finished 3-for-3 with three runs scored and five RBIs. He’s beating 0.310 / 0.396 / 0.611 with 44 homers and 138 RBIs in his first 159 big-league games.
“He’s an incredible hitter overall,” said second baseman Jose Altuve. “He can walk, he can hit doubles, home runs. You don’t really know what to expect from him because he’s so good and personally I’m happy he’s part of our team.
Alvarez, who plays for the first time since Thursday’s series opener in Cleveland, is 0.338 with eight home runs and 22 RBIs in his last 19 games.
“We missed him in the matches he [missed] ”Said Altuve. “He came back today and those two home runs, I think they were the key to getting us to win the game. The whole team is happy he’s back.
Trailing 6-3 in the fifth inning, Alvarez sent a three-run homer to the Crawford Boxes left for his second multi-homer game of the season, chasing Bassitt. The Astros added three more in the sixth, including a two-point single from Altuve.
“I wasn’t up there looking for a particular pitch,” Alvarez said of his equalizer. “I wanted to make good contact with the ball in the situation, a [3-1] count, and I was looking for a good shot so I could hit, and that’s what I was able to do.
Bassitt entered the game 9-0 with a 2.74 ERA in his previous 15 starts, with the As’s winning 13 of those starts. He only lasted 4 1/3 innings, allowing six runs, a season high. He had allowed four points or less in each of his last 28 starts (since September 2019).
“This whole range is [impressive]but when you’re out of business, good luck, ”Bassitt said. “Obviously Alvarez is really good, but I mean, it’s not just Alvarez. This is [Michael] Brantley, c’est Altuve, [Alex] Bregman when he is in good health, [Carlos] Correa… I mean, not to say that Alvarez is not an elite. He’s really good – lots of horsepower, but if you’ve got nothing on your grounds and miss the location, you’re screwed.
Tuesday’s game was Alvarez’s 12th start to a left-field season, all since June 2. The Astros have been cautious with him in the spring and early into the season after undergoing both knee surgery in the offseason, but he looked comfortable to the left, and he said it helps him stay. blocked offensively. He reached .398 playing in left field and .296 in DH this year.
“I think overall it helps me stay active and helps my body stay in athletic shape, rather than sitting in the canoe between hits,” he said. “I’m getting more movement and it helps me stay rhythmic at home plate. ”