Altuve homers twice as Astros rout Diamondbacks 10-2
HOUSTON (AP) Jose Altuve hit two of Houston’s five homers to lead the Astros to a 10-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a game where Yordan Alvarez left with an ankle injury.
The Astros, who have already won the American League West title, came close to a win or loss over the New York Yankees to secure home-court advantage in the AHL playoffs. AL.
Altuve went 5-1 with his solo home run with two out in the sixth against Ian Kennedy. David Hensley hit his first major league homer with a two-run shot later in the inning, and the Astros went back to back when Alex Bregman sent Kennedy’s pitch onto the tracks atop left field.
Jeremy Pena’s two-point drive made it 10-2 in the eighth.
Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 home runs, came out in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort after rolling his ankle while running out of the box on a first-inning single.
He appeared to be in pain as he ran for first base and was briefly checked by manager Dusty Baker and a coach before staying in the game. As the designated hitter on Tuesday, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by Hensley for his fifth-inning at-bat.
Baker said the X-rays were negative and he should be better in a few days.
“We just thought it best to take him out and deal with him,” Baker said.
Lance McCullers Jr. was scratched Tuesday afternoon with an undisclosed illness and Luis Garcia started in his place. Garcia (14-8) allowed four hits and a run with six strikeouts in six innings for his sixth straight win.
“He was aggressive with his fastball in the area,” Baker said. “He had an excellent command of it. And he had a good cutter and a good slider. He showed good things tonight, very good things.
Arizona starter Zach Davies (2-5) had six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss after not considering the decision in his last 11 starts.
Geraldo Perdomo and Daulton Varsho hit solo homers for the Diamondbacks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.
Hensley’s big night came after he entered the game on a 0-for-9 slip.
“That’s all I worked for,” he said. “Seeing success happen is really good.”
Baker was impressed with how Hensley filled in after Alvarez’s exit.
“It was pretty awesome for a young guy to hit his first home run in the order Alvarez usually hits,” he said. “We are all happy for him. He did a good job for us. »
Altuve set the Astros up early with a first shot. It was his 12th first home run this season, tying the franchise record set by George Springer in 2019.
There were two outs in the third inning when Perdomo tied the game with his home run to right center field.
The Astros took a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly from Trey Mancini in the fourth. Altuve doubled in the fifth and then scored on a Hensley single that chased Davies.
Taylor Widener took over and was greeted with a Bregman single. Widener then dunked Kyle Tucker to charge the bases before Yuli Gurriel smashed in a forced takedown that tagged Hensley and left Tucker in second.
Arizona pitching coach Brent Strom, who spent 2014-21 in the same role with the Astros, was emotional on his first trip to Houston since leaving the team after the World Series last year. last.
Strom, credited with much of Houston’s young pitching development, wept openly as he discussed the importance of his time with the team.
“I was looking forward to this,” he said. “I grew up with those guys.”
Strom received his AL Championship ring before the game.
“I almost forgot (the ring) because I was so disappointed to lose the World Series,” Strom said of Houston’s six-game loss to the Atlanta Braves.
The Astros planned to leave the retractable roof at Minute Maid Park open for Tuesday night’s game, but announced about an hour before the first pitch that it would be closed as usual due to “warmer than expected temperatures.”
The temperature on the first throw was announced at 85 degrees. The roof is rarely open during games due to the extreme heat in Houston.
Diamondbacks: OF Jake McCarthy was reinstated from the mourners list and OF Alek Thomas was opted for Triple-A Reno on Tuesday.
Astros: Baker said McCullers stayed home Tuesday and didn’t come to the stadium. He added that he did not know when his next departure would be.
Houston’s Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.82 ERA), whose ERA leads the majors, will go for his 18th AL lead on Wednesday night against Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46) when the series will continue.
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