On Friday night, the Astros made some noise with their bats at Minute Maid Park. Behind 15 hits and 11 runs, they defeated the Mariners 11-1 to take the second game of the series. Houston hit four homers, including two from Aledmys Díaz and Yordan Álvarez’s 30th of the season. At the same time, Justin Verlander was brilliant again to keep his Cy Young pace.
What looked like a pitching duel on paper between Verlander and Robbie Ray was exactly the opposite. After Aledmys’ first four-bagger of the night in the second inning, all the Astros did was break Seattle pitchers.
Yordan and Alex Bregman combined to drive in four more runs between innings three and four to make it 5-0. However, that wasn’t enough for an Astros lineup eager for runs. Álvarez opened the sixth inning with a solo shot for his 30th homer of the year, third-most in the Majors behind Aaron Judge (41) and Kyle Schwarber (32). This was Álvarez’s seventh home run over his last 14 starts.
Still Yordaddy. pic.twitter.com/gWjF3EWy5k— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2022
Álvarez was perfect as he went 3-for-3 with two RBIs, two runs, and two walks. He raised his OBP to an MLB-leading .423 and got his OPS to 1.110, also leading the Majors in that category.
In the same inning, Jeremy Peña hit a sacrifice fly and Mauricio Dubón launched his fourth dinger of 2022 to leave things 9-0.
Lastly, Díaz –who finished 3-for-5— smacked his eighth goner of the year and second of the night. This was Díaz’s third career multi-homer game and first since July 31, 2021.
♂️ pic.twitter.com/vSNh5TzDDW— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2022
If you’re wondering about what Verlander did on the mound, he won his 14th game (14-3) and lowered his ERA to 1.81. The future Hall of Famer was dealing over 7 2/3 innings of five-hit, one-run ball with one walk and five strikeouts. Now, Verlander is 6-0 in his last six outings with an unbelievable 0.86 ERA across 41 2/3 innings.
JV Masterclass. pic.twitter.com/OE81JibnTb— Houston Astros (@astros) July 30, 2022
JV, who got his 240 career win, is leading the MLB in wins and ranks second in ERA, behind only Shane McClanahan’s 1.76.
Framber Valdez will start on Saturday against righty Chris Flexen in the third game of the series. See you at MMP!