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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NASCAR makes its inaugural trip to the Daytona Roval for the Go Bowling 235. This will be one of the most anticipated races in recent memory considering that for many years, it was considered that NASCAR would run here in this configuration and now it's finally has come. It will be extremely hard to predict what will go on and to add on there will be no practice and qualifying. This should be one of the most insane races in recent memory and I have no idea who will win this one. This will be a race you don't want to miss

Kevin Harvick dominated the doubleheader last week as he won both races on Saturday and Sunday. He led a combined 182 laps in both races and was easily the best car. The main headline of the race was NASCAR's new choice box rule. This was implemented last week for the first time in a points paying event as NASCAR tried it out in the all-star race at Bristol in June. This rule allows each driver to go to either the outside or the inside of the orange painted box after the start finish line. This allows them to line-up in either lane they chose. It paid dividends for a lot of drivers including Bubba Wallace and Joey Logano as they both picked up a number of spots on Saturday on the final restart. Overall, I really like this new rule but NASCAR once again decides to change everything up in the middle of the season. I echo the sentiments of what Clint Bowyer's spotter Brett Griffin was saying on his door bumper and how NASCAR needs to stop making such massive changes in the middle of the season. Regardless, I look forward to seeing how this works going forward.

As the silly-season continues, one of the big dominoes to fall was Christopher Bell as it was announced (as expected) that he will drive the #20 Toyota next season for Joe Gibbs. This was bound to happen the moment Bell moved up to the Cup Series this year for Leavine family racing. This was very similar to the trajectory of how Erik Jones got his ride back in 2017 when he replaced Matt Kenseth in the same car. While I hate to see Erik out of a ride, I have a feeling he will land on his feet and have a career resurgence wherever he goes. Besides, more than likely he'll be at the top of the list for Rick Hendrick to take over the #48 ride. This silly season continues to twist and turn as there were also rumors that a driver that isn't currently in the sport also was interviewed by Rick Hendrick for the ride. It will be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks.

As we get closer and closer to the playoffs, the battle for the 16th and final spot in the standings is heating up. Currently, 7-time champion Jimmie Johnson and Erik Jones both sit 17th and 18th in the standings. This has been a season of such promise for both of these drivers and as everyone knows this is Jimmie's last season. It would be a shame to see both of them miss the playoffs as both have a lot to race for. In the next few weeks, don't be surprised to see these guys get desperate. In fact, Johnson has changed his paint scheme to white as he believes the black and purple look has given him bad luck. Both of these drivers have the speed to get in and it will be crucial for them to pick up as many stage points as possible, something they have struggled with all year. It will be interesting to see who falls over the next few races.

The driver that I have winning this weekend is Ryan Blaney. Like I said earlier, this will be very difficult to predict considering this has never been done before and that there will be no practice. But if there is anyone who can get it done on a Roval, it has to be Ryan Blaney. Back in 2018, he won the first race at the Charlotte Roval and while both are extremely different, it would only make sense to see him win here. This year has been tough on the second generation driver and while he is solidly in the playoffs and has led the points at one point, he still has yet to capture that elusive first win. I expect all that to change come Sunday. Look for Ryan Blaney to take the checkered flag.

Tune in this Sunday, this is definitely going to be one for the books. There will be a lot of beating and banging and a lot of things that we aren't used to seeing. With the chance of rain as well, we could also see history as NASCAR has the rain tires at the ready for this occasion. This will be one you won't want to miss.

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