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Bayou City Bombers Blitz Boston 13-5

Jose Altuve hits for the cycle

MLB: Houston Astros at Boston Red Sox David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros are in Boston.

Baseballs are falling from the sky like bombs during the London Blitz.

Wow. Just wow. What a great time for this offense’s latent power to finally wake up. We’ve been waiting for it all year. And now that the Astros are in a near three-way tie for first place in the AL West, the Astros are going on an offensive tear reminiscent of the 2017 Memorial Day Week in Minnesota.

In the last three games they have accrued 57 hits and 39 runs. They’re hitting .416 and are 20-52 with runners in scoring position. With that kind of power it doesn’t matter how bad the starting pitching is.

And tonight it was bad.

Cristian Javier gave the Red Sox an early lead, with a little help from the Red Sox gods. After two quick outs, Justin Turner got a pop fly single to center that someone should have caught, followed by a Masataka Yoshida grounder to Javier that he mishandled but was scored as a single.

We’re lucky to get three outs from Javier these days before the other team scores, so it’s bound to be trouble when you give the opposition four outs to score. Indeed, Tristan Casas doubled in two to put the Astros down to start the game.

The Astros nibbled away before gobbling the whole buffet. Jose Abreu hit a 428 solo bomb above the Green Monster in the second to inch the Astros closer. And in the third, a Jose Altuve double followed by a Yordan Alvarez single tied the score at two.

Meanwhile, Javier continued to struggle but managed to escape trouble for three innings. In the bottom of the third Javier left the bases loaded on a fly caught by Alvarez at the wall in left, one foot from a three-run double.

However, in the fifth inning Javier’s luck ran out when he walked his fifth batter. This was followed by a monster shot by Javier’s recent nemesis, Adam DuVall.

Another walk and that was it for Javier. With the six walks he allowed six hits and four runs in four + innings. That means he gave up as many baserunners as he got batters out. Only 57 of 100 pitches were strikes.

Yet, we keep winning with this guy. Is Cristian Javier the Tim Tebow of baseball?

We win behind Javier because the offense rakes for him. In the sixth inning the Astros unloaded for six runs off reliever Kyle Barraclough thanks to a two-run Altuve triple, a three-run Alvarez homer, his first in forever, and an RBI single by Yainer Diaz. The Astros were helped by four walks and a hit by pitch.

The Astros piled two more on Barraclough in the seventh on three singles, a hit by pitch, and a sac fly. Alvarez got his fourth hit in the game. He was on base six times and drove in four runs. A headlining night usually except not quite up to Jose Altuve standards.

The Astros added another two runs in the eighth on a Jose Altuve home run, a bomb which presented a clear and present danger to commuters on the Boston Turnpike. Maybe Boston authorities can even the odds for the rest of the series by charging Jose with terrorism.

For Altuve it completed the first cycle in his Hall of Fame career, and the first for an Astro since Brandon Barnes in 2013.

Wow. Jose Altuve just keeps getting better. This is his best season since 2017. What would this season be like for the Astros if he hadn’t missed most to the year to injuries?

Tonight the Astros had 18 hits and three homers. They got hits from 10 players. Alvarez is getting his power stroke back, Altuve is doing MVP-level things again, and Brantley is set to return. Watch out AL.

Just don’t let Javier back in the rotation. Jose Urquidy relieved Javier for four innings after Kendall Graveman finished the fifth and faced the same lineup, allowing only one run in four innings.

J.P. France tries to get back on track after his disastrous last start. 6:10 Central starting time.

Box score HERE.