Alvarez homers in debut as Astros take series win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 4-0 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The series finale between the Astros and Orioles on Sunday afternoon had a much bigger storyline behind it other than being the rubber game of the three-game series. It was the debut of phenom Yordan Alvarez, power slugger in the Astros' farm system, who received his highly-anticipated call up on Sunday morning. Here is how the first game with him in the lineup went:

Final Score: Astros 4, Orioles 0.

Record: 45-22, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (6-3, 3.14 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dylan Bundy (3-7, 4.50 ERA).

1) Welcome to the Alvarez era 

Yordan Alvarez made his presence felt in a big way in the bottom of the fourth. After popping out in his first at-bat, the Astros would go hitless through the first three innings. Yuli Gurriel changed that with a two-out single in the bottom of the fourth, bringing Alvarez up to the plate for his second ever plate appearance.

He gave fans a display of his power, hammering an opposite-field ball for the two-run home run to put the Astros up 2-0. Alvarez would finish 1-for-3 on the day with a walk and the 2 RBIs off of his two-run home run.

2) Miley keeps the O's at 0 

Wade Miley had a great day on the mound, keeping the Orioles off the board while he was on the mound. Miley allowed just four hits and one walk through the first six innings, keeping him on pace to go deep into the game. In the seventh, though, he'd struggle with the middle of Baltimore's order allowing a couple of singles and a walk to load the bases and end his day. His final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.

3) Astros tack on two more runs, bullpen closes it out

Still 2-0 in the sixth inning, the Astros were able to extend their lead on an RBI-single from Josh Reddick to make it 3-0. In the top of the seventh, after Miley's day came to a close after loading the bases with no outs, Ryan Pressly was called in to try and limit the damage. Pressly, with some good defense behind him, was able to manage the situation perfectly, keeping Baltimore off the board and ending the threat.

Hector Rondon was next out of the bullpen and pitched the top of the eighth before Yuli Gurriel added one more insurance run with a sac fly in the bottom of the inning to extend the lead to 4-0. Josh James came in for the ninth, but after back-to-back two-out walks was pulled in favor of Roberto Osuna who would record the final out to close out the shutout and give Houston the series win.

Up Next: Houston will get a much-needed day off on Monday before continuing this homestand with a short two-game series with Milwaukee on Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesday's game will start at 7:10 PM and the expected pitching matchup is Brad Peacock (5-3, 3.20 ERA) for the Astros and Jimmy Nelson (0-1, 12.00 ERA) for the Brewers.

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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