Astros secure a series win against the Royals

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 2 hits from the 6-1 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

Houston was able to erase the sting of the three straight losses to Oakland earlier in the week by taking the first of three games against the Royals in Kansas City on Friday night to get back on track. They had Zack Greinke on the mound Saturday night to try and lock up the series. Here is a recap of the game:

Final Score: Astros 6, Royals 1.

Record: 97-53, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Zack Greinke (16-5, 2.95 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Mike Montgomery (3-9, 4.70 ERA).

1) Another tightly contested game early

There was just two runs scored in the first half of the game on Saturday, one for each team. The first was by the Royals off of Zack Greinke; they got a leadoff single in the bottom of the third followed by an RBI-double to take a 1-0 lead. Alex Bregman immediately tied things up in the top of the fourth for Houston, though, hammering a solo home run to make it 1-1.

The Astros took their first lead of the night in the top of the sixth, getting runners on first and third to set up an RBI-single for Kyle Tucker. Houston had a great chance to break the game open after that, loading the bases with no outs, but would leave all three runners stranded in a disappointing end to the inning.

The run that Kansas City scored against Greinke would be his only allowed in his night of work. He had another great start, finishing six innings and leaving in line for the win. His final line: 6 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 7 K, 0 HR.

2) Astros extend their lead in the eighth to put things away

With Greinke's night over, Hector Rondon was first out of Houston's bullpen to pitch the bottom of the seventh. He recorded a scoreless inning, retiring Kansas City in order. In the top of the eighth, Kyle Tucker got his fourth hit of the night with a leadoff single, then Robinson Chirinos worked a walk to put two on base for a pinch-hitting Yordan Alvarez. He took advantage of the opportunity, drilling a ball to straight center-field for a three-run homer to extend Houston's lead to 5-1.

Joe Smith took over for Rondon with the four-run lead in the bottom of the eighth, and he too was able to hold the Royals scoreless. In the top of the ninth, the Astros extended their lead after an intentional walk to Kyle Tucker loaded the bases for Robinson Chirinos, who delivered an RBi-single to make it 6-1.

With the lead now at five runs, Houston went to Bryan Abreu to try and finish things off in the bottom of the ninth. He would get two outs, but with a couple of runners on would pass the ball to Will Harris who recorded the final out. The win secured the series win and gave Houston a chance for a sweep on Sunday afternoon.

Up Next: Houston and Kansas City will wrap up this series with the finale on Sunday at 1:15 PM. Wade Miley (13-5, 3.74 ERA) will try to finally rebound from two horrible starts in his last two outings and get back on track to be the Astros' fourth starter in their playoff rotation. He'll go opposite of Jakob Junis (9-13, 5.06 ERA) for the Royals.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Alvarez is the third in franchise history to get the award

Astros' Yordan Alvarez wins AL Rookie of the Year

Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

As expected, the MLB announced on Monday that the winner of the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year Award is Yordan Alvarez of the Houston Astros. It comes as no surprise, considering Alvarez's performance since being called up on June 9th of this season was powerful, to say the least. He beats out the two other finalists: John Means of the Baltimore Orioles and Brandon Lowe of the Tampa Bay Rays.

After dominating at the AAA level for the Round Rock Express where he led the minors in home runs (23) and RBIs (71) while hitting for a .343 average and 1.184 OPS over his 56 games before being promoted to the major leagues, he brought the same power to Houston's lineup. He wasted no time showing what he was capable of, notching his first career home run in his second at-bat at Minute Maid Park in his debut game.

He followed that by hitting home runs in four of his first five games and going on to slash .317 / .406 / .733 for a 1.139 OPS from his debut through the end of June, tenth best in all of the majors over that span. Though he finished the month with seven homers in just 60 at-bats, he also maintained his ability to drive in runs, notching 21 RBIs in his first sixteen games. He slowed down slightly in July, banging just five homers in 75 ABs to go along with 15 RBIs, though increasing his average to .333.

He picked the power back up in August and September, though, finishing the final two months of the regular season with a combined 15 home runs and 42 RBIs over 178 at-bats. That ended his regular season with 27 homers, 78 RBIs, a 1.067 OPS, and .313 average, a line that would have been decent for a full season, much less one that started in early June. One of the shining moments of his debut year came in the matchup with the Orioles on August 10th, a night when the Astros put up a franchise-record 23 runs, seven of which came off the bat of Alvarez on a three-homer night including a grand slam.

Although not factored into the voting, Alvarez did contribute in the postseason for Houston, though not at the same level as his regular-season numbers. He had just one home run in the playoffs, a two-run blast in World Series Game 5 against the Nationals in D.C. to help Houston take that game 7-1. He had just one other RBI in October, in ALDS Game 1 against the Rays, giving him just three total along with the one homer to leave his postseason stat line as something to improve on.

Nonetheless, Alvarez's power is something that Houston will gladly put in their DH spot as long as he can continue to drive in runs and be a difference-maker in a game with one swing of his hefty bat. Yordan is the third player in franchise history to win the Rookie of the Year award, joining Jeff Bagwell, who took home the honor for the National League in 1991 and Carlos Correa, who also won in the American League in 2015. The future is bright for this left-handed slugger and the Houston Astros as a result.

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