On the 10th anniversary of his promotion to the Astros from AA, and 832 runs, 1701 hits, and 153 home runs later, Jose Altuve added to his legend by leading off the game with this hit:
And in the third inning he added this hit to his total as well:
And the former gold glover added this fielding play for good measure.
Of course, two solo homers by Jose (his 21st and 22nd of the year) didn’t account for the nine Astros runs.
The bats have come back to life. Besides the two homers by Altuve, Kyle Tucker added a three-run shot, his 16th, in the fifth inning.
Tucker, Michael Brantley and ...hooray...Carlos Correa also added doubles, breaking a long hitless drought for Correa. Before Tucker’s homer, Yordan Alvarez knocked in two runs with a single, and Michael Brantley added two more RBI after the Tucker homer with a double in the six-run fifth inning that put the game way.
Michael Brantley, Yuli Guriel, and Tucker all had three hits for the night out of the Astros total of 14.
With all the batting fireworks, let’s not forget the continued stellar pitching of rookie Luis Garcia, who must surely be a candidate for rookie of the year.
It was both a dominant and precise performance. Six scoreless innings pitched, only three hits, all singles, no walks, and eight strikeouts. With a commanding lead, Garcia was removed after only 79 pitches, 57 of them were strikes. Seventeen of those strikes were of the swing and miss variety.
Garcia lowered his ERA to 2.86, just a hairline above Lance McCullers’ 2.80, which leads all Astros starters.
Concerns continue around Joe Smith, who was sent in to eat an inning in the eighth and promptly surrendered 3 runs on two singles and two doubles.
How much longer can the Astros tolerate Smith’s 7.59 ERA? Sure, he has a pretty big contract. In business, they call investments like that sunk costs.
Box score and video HERE.