Alvarez homer lifts Astros over Mariners again for 2-0 lead in ALDS


Yordan Alvarez and his mighty bat did it but again, launching a go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth inning off Seattle ace Luis Castillo that lifted the Houston Astros over the Mariners 4-2 on Thursday for a 2-0 lead in the AL Division Series.

Alvarez was the Game 1 hero along with his gut-punch, three-run shot off reigning AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray with two outs in the ninth inning that gave the Astros an 8-7 win in a recreation the place they’d trailed by 4.

Castillo, acquired from the Reds close to the commerce deadline and coming off 7 1/3 innings of shutout ball in opposition to Toronto in the wild-card spherical, gave up an early dwelling run to Kyle Tucker however little else as he took a 2-1 lead into the sixth.

But with two outs, Jeremy Pena singled on a blooper that fell in between second baseman Adam Frazier and centre fielder Julio Rodriguez. Castillo bent down and slapped his legs in disappointment as he watched the ball drop in shallow centre.

That introduced up Alvarez, who hit a 98 mph pitch tailing away to the alternative subject, into the brief porch in left to place the Astros on prime 3-2.

Alvarez, who had 37 homers in the common season, trotted across the bases as cameras panned to his Cuban dad and mom, who’re watching their first postseason collection after arriving in Houston in August. The lefty pointed to them as he reached the plate earlier than reenacting the highly effective swing that has the Astros one win away from their sixth straight AL Championship Series.

There have been two outs and a runner on first in the eighth when Seattle had absolutely seen sufficient of Alvarez leaving the yard. The Mariners deliberately walked him and Alex Bregman made them pay, including some insurance coverage when he singled to make it 4-2.

Houston starter Framber Valdez had a stable begin, permitting 4 hits and two runs in 5 2/3 innings. He had a special look than he did in his final postseason look after he and fellow pitcher Luis Garcia each obtained hair extensions this season.

Hector Neris obtained the win after getting the final out of the sixth inning to flee a bases-loaded jam. Bryan Abreu obtained the primary two outs of the seventh earlier than Rafael Montero got here in and threw 1 1/3 scoreless innings.

Ryan Pressly walked the leadoff batter in the ninth earlier than J.P. Crawford lined right into a double play. Rodriguez doubled after that, however Pressly struck out Ty France for the save. The Astros received regardless of issuing seven walks total.

Seattle to host 1st dwelling playoff recreation in 21 years

The Mariners will head again to Seattle for Game 3 Saturday in an enormous gap in the best-of-five collection as they host their first playoff recreation in 21 years.

Alvarez has carried the Astros early in this division collection, shouldering such a load that Houston catcher Martin Maldonado requested Alvarez after Game 1 if his again was sore as a result of “you carry us as a staff.” The 25-year-old bounced again this postseason after a tricky time in final 12 months’s World Series the place he batted simply .100 with no homers and 6 strikeouts.

The slugger who’s been criticized for poor defence in the previous has been making large performs in left subject, too.

Alvarez grabbed a pointy liner hit by Eugenio Suarez to finish the seventh. In Game 1, he fielded a single by Suarez in the fourth and threw an ideal strike to Maldonado, who tagged out France on the plate.

Castillo yielded 5 hits and three runs with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

There was one out in the second inning when Tucker hit a slider from Castillo into the seats in proper subject to place Houston up 1-0.

Crawford doubled with two outs in the third. But second baseman Jose Altuve made a leaping throw after fielding a pointy grounder hit by Rodriguez that simply beat him to first base to finish the inning.

Suarez walked with one out in the fourth and Mitch Haniger doubled. Carlos Santana then hit a one-hopper that Valdez fielded cleanly towards the third base facet, however his throw dwelling was offline for an error that allowed Suarez to tie it at 1-all.

Santana was out on the play after getting caught in a rundown. Haniger scored when Dylan Moore singled to place the Mariners up 2-1.

Valdez walked Haniger on a full depend with two outs in the sixth, Santana doubled and Moore drew a stroll to load the bases and chase Valdez. Neris took over and retired Cal Raleigh on a groundout to flee the jam.


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