Alvarez homers again as Astros take another from Toronto

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 7-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After putting up fifteen runs the night before, the Astros sought to continue that offensive success on Saturday afternoon in the middle game of the series with the Blue Jays. Here is a quick recap of the game:

Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 2.

Record: 48-23, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-2, 2.77 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.52 ERA).

1) Valdez goes six innings in another good start

While it wasn't quite as good as his seven-inning one-run start against Baltimore last weekend, Framber Valdez still put together a solid start on the mound against Toronto. Valdez only had one rough inning, allowing a couple of runs on three hits in the fifth inning.

Otherwise, Valdez managed and held the lead he was given well, and in the end, would finish six innings of two-run baseball and earn the win. Valdez's final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.

2) Astros' offense continues to bash Toronto's pitching

Houston continued hitting the ball well on Saturday much as they did on Friday night. They got the scoring started in the bottom of the second on an RBI-double by Jack Mayfield who would come around to score later in the inning on an error, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.

Yordan Alvarez homered yet again, getting an upper-deck blast to right-field in the bottom of the third to give him four home runs in his first five games and extend the lead to 3-0 in the game. They added two more runs to the lead in the next inning, getting RBIs from Myles Straw and Alex Bregman to make it a 5-0 game.

After the Blue Jays trimmed the lead to three runs at 5-2 in the top of the fifth inning, Houston would put it back at five runs in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run from Josh Reddick and another RBI for Straw, making it 7-2. That score would be the final in a day where the Astros would get a lot of production from their recent call ups with Alvarez going 3-for-4 with a homer, Jack Mayfield hitting three doubles, and Myles Straw knocking in two runs.

3) Bullpen finishes off the win

With Valdez's afternoon done after six innings, Houston turned to their bullpen to finish off the last three innings. Chris Devenski took over on the mound in the seventh and retired six batters in a row to complete two scoreless innings.

Josh James came in with the game still 7-2 in the top of the ninth. He'd work around a two-out single to cap off the win, setting up Houston to go for the sweep on Sunday after taking the first two of the series.

Up Next: The Astros will attempt the series sweep with Sunday's series finale starting at 1:10 PM. The Father's Day matchup on the mound will be Brad Peacock (6-3, 3.42 ERA) for Houston going opposite of Trent Thornton (1-5, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Altuve's homer starting the scoring for Houston on Friday night. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
After a solid showing to take the three of the four-game series in Arlington against the Rangers to start the week, the Astros returned home for three against the Diamondbacks in a weekend series. They would have a slow start to the opener but would ultimately come away victorious.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 4, Diamondbacks 3

Astros' Record: 87-60, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Ryne Stanek (3-4)

Losing Pitcher: Tyler Clippard (1-1)

Bielak makes the impromptu start

With Luis Garcia having to move his start ahead by a day on Thursday instead of Friday with Framber Valdez's finger cut, Brandon Bielak made a start for Houston in the opener against Arizona. He didn't go as deep as he probably would have wanted and certainly ventured out of his comfort zone with traffic on the bases.

He loaded the bases in the top of the first, allowing a single and two walks, but was able to strand all three to keep it a scoreless game. He rebounded with a 1-2-3 second, but he dealt with a threat again in the third as back-to-back singles pressured him to start the inning. He would get back-to-back strikeouts, but that's as far as he would go as Houston moved on to Blake Taylor. Taylor got the final out of the third on one pitch, then erased a two-out double in the top of the fourth.

Altuve breaks up the no-no with a go-ahead homer

Brooks Raley took over in the top of the fifth, but in his three batters, he faced allowed a single while getting two outs before Cristian Javier took over to end the frame. Javier allowed the first run of the game in the top of the sixth, a leadoff solo homer to Kole Calhoun to put the Diamondbacks in front 1-0 before he finished the inning.

Madison Bumgarner didn't allow a single hit to the Astros through the first five and two-thirds innings. He allowed a one-out walk in the bottom of the sixth, which proved costly as Jose Altuve would get the first knock of the game for Houston, a two-run go-ahead homer. Phil Maton was the next reliever for the Astros in the top of the seventh, maintaining the new one-run lead by erasing a leadoff single.

Astros get the win in extras

The Diamondbacks tied it up in the top of the eighth against Kendall Graveman, getting a leadoff single followed by a walk, then later an RBI single to knot things up 2-2. Houston stranded a runner in the bottom of the eighth, then brought in Ryan Pressly, who tossed a 1-2-3 top of the ninth to keep the game tied.

Despite getting the winning run in scoring position with a leadoff ground-rule double by Jason Castro to start the bottom of the ninth, they would strand it as the game went to extras. Arizona scored their free runner in the top of the tenth, getting a sac fly to move it to third then going in front on an RBI single.

The Astros matched that and more in the bottom of the inning, moving their runner to third on a lineout to start the frame, followed by an intentional walk to Yordan Alvarez. Jake Meyers tied the game with an RBI single, then after another walk to load the bases, Chas McCormick was hit by a pitch to bring in the winning run, moving the Astros closer to clinching their playoff berth.

Up Next: The middle game of this three-game set will have a start time of 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Tyler Gilbert (2-2, 3.15 ERA) is expected to make a start for Arizona, while Lance McCullers Jr. (12-4, 3.12 ERA) will be on the mound for Houston.

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