In his return from the paternity list, Yordan Álvarez destroyed the Athletics and led the Astros to a 9-6 victory to celebrate the birth of this baby. Despite being down 6-2 after two innings, they activated offensive mode to achieve their biggest comeback win of the season.
Álvarez —who wasn’t available for the Cleveland series— went 3-for-3 with a single, two huge home runs, five runs batted in, three runs scored, and an intentional base on balls. For him, it was his seventh multi-homer, becoming just the 40th player in MLB history to reach seven games with multiple home runs at his age (24 years, 9 days) or younger.
Imagine if he hadn’t been tired…
Yordan Alvarez said the baby didn't sleep through the night until last night. He was somewhat tired today.— Chandler Rome (@Chandler_Rome) July 7, 2021
Yordan’s magical night began in the first inning when he got the Astros closer in the score 3-2, launching a two-run rocket over the center-field fence against starter Chris Bassitt for his 15th four-bagger of the campaign.
Later, in the bottom fifth, destroyed Bassitt once more. He sent the ball to the Crawfish Boxes for a game-tying, three-run shot (16th of the season). That was the 44th dinger in 159 career games for Álvarez. The young star had the two hardest-hit balls in the game for the Astros: 114.7 MPH on his single, 109.7 MPH on his first homer of the night.
Along with the bullpen, Yordan had Framber Valdez’s back in a rough night for him. The lefty starter had a terrible start to the game as he allowed eight hits and six runs (five earned) in the first two innings. However, Valdez put it all together and completed five innings of work with 10 hits, two walks, and six strikeouts. His ERA climbed to 2.86.
With the game tied after five episodes, the Astros had a little bit more in their pockets for the Athletics. José Altuve hit a go-ahead, two-run single to drive in Abraham Toro and Myles Straw in the bottom sixth. Two hitters later, Yuli Gurriel hit a grounder to bring home their final run.
Then, the energized bullpen did its thing. Bryan Abreu looked great and took the win (3-3) in two shutout frames of one hit and two punchouts. Ryne Stanek got his 10th hold with a perfect eighth, and Ryan Pressly reached his 15th save of the regular season with a hitless ninth. Regarding Pressly, the Astros’ closer has not allowed an earned run since May 29, a span in which he’s pitched 13 episodes of five hits, one walk, and 22 strikeouts.
This win leaves the Astros with a 4.5-game advantage over the second-place Athletics in the AL West. On Wednesday (8:10 pm ET), they’ll try to add to that lead in the second game of the series. Luis García (6-5, 3.14 ERA) will take the ball to start, with Sean Manaea as his counterpart.