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.

Houston's magic number is down to 1

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After the mini-sweep of the Rangers concluding with win number 100 on the season which secured a playoff spot, the Astros turned their sights to clinching the division. With their magic number at 2, they could clinch on Friday with a win in the series opener against Los Angeles and an Oakland loss. Here is a recap of the first game of the weekend against the Angels:

Final Score: Astros 6, Angels 4.

Record: 101-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (17-5, 3.05 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Jaime Barria (4-10, 6.43 ERA).

1) Starting with a bang

With a chance to clinch their division and continue to lead the battle for playoff home-field advantage, Houston came out swinging on Friday night. In the first inning, the Astros blasted three home runs with solo shots from Jose Altuve which led off the inning, and Alex Bregman as he tries to catch the sidelined Mike Trout for a possible MVP award.

Later in the inning, Carlos Correa took advantage of a runner on base with a home run of his own, a two-run bomb to extend the lead before Josh Reddick tacked on one more with an RBI-single to make it 5-0 after one.

2) Greinke struggles in the fourth but finishes five innings

Zack Greinke allowed just two hits through the first three innings: a single and a solo home run which at the time cut the lead to 5-1. Carlos Correa pushed the lead back to five runs with his second home run of the night in the bottom of the third.

Greinke would struggle in the top of the fourth, however, allowing five straight hits which would score three runs to cut Houston's lead to 6-4. He would recover and toss a 1-2-3 fifth, but that would be it for him in a five-inning start, as Houston passed the ball to their bullpen to throw the last four frames. His final line: 5 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 0 BB, 4 K, 1 HR.

3) Houston's bullpen dominant the rest of the way

Josh James was the first reliever out of Houston's bullpen to take over for Greinke in the top of the sixth and erased a two-out walk to complete a scoreless inning. Ryan Pressly, making his first appearance in a month after having surgery on his knee, returned dominantly with a 1-2-3 inning.

Will Harris did the same in the top of the eighth, holding the two-run lead going to the ninth. Roberto Osuna had the chance for another save in the top of the ninth and converted it to finish off the 6-4 win. That reduced the magic number to one, meaning the Astros are now a win or Oakland loss away from clinching the American League West. They are also just two wins away from matching last year's franchise number of 103.

Up Next: Game two of this three-game set with the Angles will be on Saturday at 6:10 PM. Wade Miley (14-5, 3.71 ERA) will get the start for Houston while Patrick Sandoval (0-3, 4.91 ERA) is expected to be on the mound for Los Angeles.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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