Alvarez homers again as Astros overpower Brewers

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 10-8 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After winning the weekend series against the Orioles and being rewarded with a day off on Monday, the Astros picked up a quick two-game series with NL Central-leading Brewers on Tuesday night. Here's how the first of the two games went:

Final Score: Astros 10, Brewers 8.

Record: 46-22, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Brad Peacock (6-3, 3.42 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Freddy Peralta (3-3, 5.81 ERA).

1) Offenses trade blows

The Brewers and Astros went back and forth with offensive bursts early, starting with the Brewers getting a run off of Brad Peacock in the top of the first inning to take a 1-0 lead. Tyler White doubled them up in the bottom of the second with a two-run opposite-field home run, his second of the year, to give Houston a 2-1 lead, but Christian Yelich responded for the Brewers in the next inning with a solo home run of his own, tying the game 2-2.

Yuli Gurriel broke the tie in the bottom of the third, taking advantage of a leadoff double by Michael Brantley by hitting a two-run homer to put the Astros back in front 4-2. Milwaukee trimmed the lead to one run in the top of the fifth with a few more hits to make it 4-3, but the Astros would roar right back in the bottom of the inning with an RBI-triple from Micheal Brantley and RBI-single from Gurriel to double up the Brewers again at 6-3.

They weren't done in that inning, though, because next up was their newest teammate who provided another highlight.

2) Alvarez does it again

After striking out in his first two plate appearances in the game, Yordan Alvarez came to the plate with Gurriel on first in the bottom of the fifth. The momentum was in his favor, as both Gurriel and Brantley had plated runners in front of him.

He got hold of a 2-2 pitch low in the zone, golfing it with enough of his extraordinary power to get it over the right field wall to make it back-to-back games with a home run, the first Houston player in franchise history to get home runs in their first two games. That gave the Astros a commanding five-run lead at 8-3. Alvarez finished the night 1-for-3 with a walk and the homerun, keeping his average at .333 through two games.

3) Peacock and bullpen hold the lead

Brad Peacock didn't have a perfect night by any means, allowing a run right off the bat then two more through the first five innings, but given the big lead in the bottom of the fifth, he was able to get deep enough into the game to avoid taxing the bullpen for too many innings. Peacock's final line: 6.1 IP, 7H, 4 R, 4 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 2HR.

Peacock's night ended one out into the seventh, and Will Harris took over to complete that inning with no damage allowed and one strikeout. Robinson Chirinos padded the lead further in the bottom of the seventh, hitting a two-run home run to extend the lead to 10-4 on Houston's fourth homer of the night.

Hector Rondon looked to get a quick inning with the large lead in the top of the eighth, but would instead load the bases then walk in a run before getting the final out, resulting in a call to bring in Ryan Pressly to clean up the mess. Pressly would get the last out of the eighth, then Chris Devenski would take over in the ninth.

Devenski would struggle after getting two outs, allowing a single then hitting a batter to set up a three-run home run to get the Brewers within two runs at 10-8, but Devenski would get the last out to close out the win.

Up Next: Houston and Milwaukee will wrap up this two-game series tomorrow night with the game starting at 7:10 PM. We'll get to see a good pitching matchup as Justin Verlander (9-2, 2.31 ERA) will look to lift the Astros over Brandon Woodruff (8-1, 3.87 ERA) and the Brewers.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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The Houston Astros managed to win the AL West once again, and while things got a little nerve wracking toward the end of the season, when it mattered most, the 'Stros took care of business.

It certainly didn't hurt to get a little help from the Mariners, beating the Rangers 1-0 on Sunday, paving the way for the Astros to secure the division. Rangers fans and members of their broadcast team were none too pleased with the Diamondbacks resting some of their starters on Sunday.

But let's be real, with the division on the line, the Rangers couldn't even manage to score a single run on Sunday against Seattle. That's why they're playing in the Wild Card series, not because of how Arizona approached Sunday's game.

So what did we learn during these must-win games over the last week? A lot was made of GM Dana Brown's comments on the team's flagship station. Brown was hoping manager Dusty Baker would put the best offensive lineup on the field. Yainer Diaz did not start a single game of the Diamondbacks series. But Chas McCormick played every game of the Mariners and Diamondbacks series, except for the finale against Seattle, after being hit in the back with a fastball the night before.

Michael Brantley played in two of three against Arizona, so he appears to be an option Dusty will turn to moving forward. And with the Astros only scoring 1 and 2 runs in two of the three wins against the D-Backs, the Astros need every bit of offense they can get.

Plus, we discuss how getting extra rest for Michael Brantley, Jose Abreu, and the bullpen could pay huge dividends for the club. And don't look now, but Jose Abreu is getting hot at just the right time!

Be sure to watch the video above for the full discussion.

And be sure to watch Stone Cold 'Stros (an Astros podcast) every Monday on SportMapHouston's YouTube channel.

Listen to ESPN 97.5 and 92.5 FM for Houston's best sports talk.

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