Yordan Álvarez was made for big scenarios. Just like in the ALDS opener on Tuesday, the big man was the key hitter again on Thursday to lead the Astros to a 4-2 victory against the Mariners. Now, being one win away, Houston is on the verge of advancing to the Championship Series.
Álvarez did exactly what he did on Tuesday, that is, hitting a go-ahead homer. Right when the Astros were losing the game 2-1 in the bottom sixth, Jeremy Peña hit a two-out single against Diego Castillo and, immediately, Yordan destroyed a 98-mph sinker sending it to the opposite field to put Houston ahead 3-2.
HE'S A BAD, BAD MAN. pic.twitter.com/zA0se6sQn0— Houston Astros (@astros) October 13, 2022
Now, Yordan is 4-for-8 with a double, two homers, and seven runs batted in during the first two games of the series, lifting the Astros to the victory and to enjoy a comfortable lead. Álvarez became the first hitter in postseason history to hit a walk-off homer and, then, a go-ahead homer in the following game.
However, this win probably wouldn’t have come without the help of almost the entire team. Never better said, it was a true team effort.
José Altuve and Yulieski Gurriel combined to complete two outstanding defensive plays. In fact, Gurriel made a key double play in the ninth inning to end what looked like the beginning of a threat by the Mariners.
WOW! Jose Altuve with the jump throw! pic.twitter.com/NOenYs0XJz— MLB (@MLB) October 13, 2022
Speaking of key men, it’s time to get to the offense. Kyle Tucker put the Astros on the scoreboard with a solo shot in the second inning and Peña, who finished 2-for-3 with a walk and two runs scored, did an incredible job by getting on base when the team needed him to. First, Peña scored with Álvarez’s bomb and, then, in the eighth inning, the rookie shortstop drew a two-out walk against flamethrower Andrés Muñoz before Alex Bregman hit an RBI single to drive him in (4-2).
Should've walked him. pic.twitter.com/MFwLofkL5B— Houston Astros (@astros) October 13, 2022
But the pitching also did its part. Framber Valdez, with the no-decision, was on the mound for 5 2/3 innings, allowing four hits and two earned runs. The lefty gave up three walks and struck out six hitters, a good performance against countryman Luis Castillo, who went seven innings.
The bullpen played a huge role. Héctor Neris, Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero, and Ryan Pressly combined to go 3 1/3 one-hit, scoreless innings of four walks and three strikeouts.
The series will move to Seattle and resume on Saturday with Game 3. The Mariners need to win to stay alive while the Astros need one more step to advance to the next round. Lance McCullers will take the ball for Houston with George Kirby will take the mound for Seattle.