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.

Astros rough offseason continues

Cole's deal with Yankees changes the AL landscape

Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

In what came as a surprise to no one, former Astro Gerrit Cole is now a New York Yankee. Cole signed a record nine-year, $324 million deal with the Yankees.

While the Astros were never in the running to re-sign Cole, his signing with New York comes as a double whammy. The Yankees were only four wins behind the Astros during the regular season and pushed them to six games in the ALCS. Poaching Cole, who was 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA and 326 strikeouts, easily flip flops the two teams. The Astros have no one to replace Cole's production, no matter what they do. The Yankees just added a legitimate ace, and stamped themselves as the new favorites in the AL.

For the Astros, it was an expected blow, and just the latest in what has been a rough off-season filled with scandal and now rumors that Carlos Correa may be on the block.

What's next for Astros?

Part of the price of success is your players have to get paid. Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve are locked down, but Correa and George Springer are due for big deals, and the Astros have expressed a desire to keep the payroll under control. That is not good news for the 2020 Astros and beyond.

The Astros have an easy solution for Correa; moving Alex Bregman to short and Yuli Gurriel to third, and look for a cheaper option at first base. Correa's injury history has limited his production, so that's a loss they could stomach.

The losses mount

But there is no ready solution for Cole. Lance McCullers is expected back, and Jose Urquidy will get likely get a chance. They will also look for a bargain basement, Wade Miley type. But in general, the Astros - with or without Correa - will not be as good next season. While they will still be title contenders and there is plenty of time to fill some holes (they did, after all, trade for Cole two seasons ago), they won't be the favorites in the AL.

That honor now belongs to the Yankees.

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