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.

Houston Astros/Facebook

The Astros had a bad 4-6 road trip and looked forward to getting home to Minute Maid Park where they have been dominant this season. The pitiful Detroit Tigers arrived in Houston with a record since the All Star Break of nine wins and 27 losses. They literally do not have one non-pitcher who would make a healthy Astros' roster. That includes the way over the hill sure fire Hall of Famer Miguel Cabrera. Splitting four games at home with the Tigers would have been a fail. The Astros did not fail, though "only" taking three out of four seems a little disappointing. The S.S. Astros Good Ship Lollipop has sprung a couple of leaks. Neither that can't be plugged with good health, but the Astros have two notable health issues.

Carlos Correa's next endorsement deal should be for peanut brittle, emphasis not on the peanut. Some guys just have a propensity toward getting injured. Unfortunately the Correa resume grows that he is one of those guys. That back problems have resurfaced is troubling, to no one more so than Correa himself. It's clear the guy loves the game and is spectacularly talented, but durability is one component of greatness and to this point Correa simply has not demonstrated durability. If he can't produce a fully healthy bigtime season or two in the next year or two, any visions of a Manny Machado-like 10 year 300 million dollar contract will be up in smoke. Still, Correa turns only 25 years old next month so there's time to prove sturdiness, but more sand has seeped through the hourglass. For the 2019 Astros the dropdown is huge from Correa at shortstop to either Miles Straw or Aledmys Diaz being in the lineup. As for 2020, please tell anyone saying the Astros should trade Correa to be quiet.

The loss of Ryan Pressly for most if not all of the rest of the regular season is a big blow to the bullpen. Of even bigger concern is whether he can get back and get sharp to start the postseason.

This doesn't mean the ship is sinking. The Astros enter the weekend just one game behind the Yankees for the best record in the American League, and the Astros own the tiebreaker (having won the season series 4-3). They are three back of the Dodgers for best in MLB, the Astros have a three game lead in the tiebreaker with LA (intradivision record). The Yankees play at the Dodgers this weekend so if you're a glass half full person: a Dodger or Yankee loss is guaranteed three days in a row! If you're glass half empty: a Dodger or Yankee win is guaranteed three days in a row!

NFL on the horizon

A little over 2 weeks until the Texans begin their 18th season of play in the National Football League. We've all heard the saying, the 18th time is the charm. So is this the season the Texans are finally a legitimate Super Bowl contender? Probably not. The Texans do not look like a notably improved football team. On paper their schedule is clearly more difficult than last season's. Within the AFC the Chiefs clearly have more overall talent and are better coached. The Patriots still exist. One of these years Tom Brady really will slip. Maybe at age 42 this is the season.

If Jadeveon Clowney opts to sit out, or is traded, anyone thinking he won't be missed, is wrong. Clowney is not a superstar but he's really good. The Texans will be easier to run on without him. And while not an elite pass rusher, Clowney has to be accounted for. Anyone thinking, ah, he's hurt all the time anyway…wrong again. Clowney missed one game last season, and the season before that he played in every game.

If you want a couple of reasons for plausible optimism, here you go. Coming off of last season Deshaun Watson does not rate as one of the top 10 quarterbacks in the NFL. He could well vault into that echelon this season. The Texans' offensive line remains something between a question mark and a glaring weakness, but really, can it be worse than it was the last couple of seasons? DeAndre Hopkins is about as good as it gets today at wide receiver, the same for J.J. Watt at defensive end though the clock is ticking down on his prime.

The Texans probably begin their season by losing at New Orleans. On the other hand the Buccaneers started their 5-11 2018 season by beating the 13-3 to be Saints in New Orleans.

Buzzer Beaters

1. Connor McGregor pitches some "number 12" brand of whisky. As a human being he seems much more a piece of number two. 2. Two peas in a pitching pod: Justin Verlander 15-5, 2.77 ERA, 239 strikeouts. Gerrit Cole 15-5, 2.75 ERA, 238 strikeouts. 3. Worst tasting vegetables: Bronze-kale Silver-peas Gold-lima beans

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