ASTROS DEFEAT BLUE JAYS

Alvarez homers for 3rd straight game as Astros beat Blue Jays 9-2

Yordan Alvarez Astros
Astros defeat Blue Jays, 9-2. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images.

Jose Altuve hit a tiebreaking single in a four-run seventh inning, Yordan Alvarez homered for the third straight game and the Houston Astros beat the Toronto Blue Jays 9-2 on Wednesday night for their 11th win in 13 games.

Houston’s Yainer Diaz reached base four times and drove in three as the Astros handed the struggling Blue Jays their 11th loss in 15.

Alvarez looked to be in pain after an awkward swing on his ground ball to second base that ended the first inning, but Houston’s designated hitter reached base in his next four plate appearances.

Alvarez doubled home a run in the third, led off the sixth with a solo homer, came around to score after being intentionally walked in the seventh, and capped his night with an RBI double in the eighth. He finished 3 for 4 with three RBIs.

Right-hander Tayler Scott (5-2) got the win despite allowing a game-tying single to the only batter he faced. Bryan Abreu worked a perfect seventh, Bryan King pitched the eighth and Rafael Montero finished.

Toronto’s Bo Bichette struck out on a pitch that hit him in the ninth.

Bichette opened the scoring with a sacrifice fly in the first but Alvarez tied it with a two-out double in the third.

Alvarez gave Houston a 2-1 edge with a leadoff homer in the sixth, his 19th, but Daulton Varsho tied it with a two-out single off Scott in the bottom half. Varsho went too far past first base and was thrown out to end the rally.

Chas McCormick reached on a fielding error by Blue Jays right-hander Zach Pop (0-3) to begin the seventh, and pinch-hitter Jon Singleton followed with a double. Altuve broke the 2-all tie with an RBI single.

Pop left after Alex Bregman lined out, but Jose Cuas didn’t retire any of the four batters he faced, walking Alvarez intentionally before allowing Diaz’s two-run single on his first pitch. Cuas exited after hitting Jake Meyers and Jeremy Peña with consecutive pitches to bring home a fourth run.

Astros right-hander Ronel Blanco, who no-hit the Blue Jays on April 1, allowed two runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings.

ROSTER MOVES

Toronto put INF Justin Turner on the paternity list and recalled OF Steward Berroa from Triple-A Buffalo.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (neck) is playing catch every other day, manager Joe Espada said. There is no timetable for Verlander’s return.

Blue Jays: RHP Jordan Romano will be sidelined for at least six weeks after surgery for an impingement in his right elbow, manager John Schneider said. It’s not clear whether the two-time All-Star will return this season.

UP NEXT

Blue Jays RHP Chris Bassitt (7-6, 3.24 ERA) is scheduled to pitch against Astros LHP Framber Valdez (6-5, 4.11) in Thursday afternoon’s series finale.

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

ESPN Houston 97.5 FM
Will all the Texans playmakers be satisfied with their roles in the offense? Composite Getty Image.

ESPN Texans reporter DJ Bien-Aime joined The Mina Kimes Show this weekand shared his thoughts on the Texans outlook this season.

When looking at the Texans offense, Bien-Aime pointed to Houston's play calling as being a possible issue in 2024. Bobby Slowik did a terrific job in his first season as an offensive coordinator. But he will have his hands full keeping all his playmakers happy with Stefon Diggs joining the team, and Nico Collins expecting a ton of looks after signing a massive contract extension.

Which got us thinking, are there enough catches to go around?

We took a deep dive into the 2023 numbers and here's what we found. CJ Stroud averaged 21 completions per game. And here's a breakdown of how many catches his receivers averaged last year.

Nico Collins 5.3 catches per game

Stefon Diggs (with Buffalo) 6.29 catches per game

Dalton Schultz 3.93 catches per game

Tank Dell 4.27 catches per game

Texans running backs 3.05 catches per game

If we add those up, the total is 22.84. Which means the Texans top receivers should expect a similar amount of production compared to last season. Of course, players like Noah Brown, Robert Woods, and Brevin Jordan will take targets away from Stefon Diggs and company from time to time.

But it's good to know that the Texans top pass catchers should produce numbers close to their 2023 averages. Which is a big deal for a player in a contract year like Diggs.

Another thing to note. We're factoring in that the Texans are expected to run out of 11 personnel most of the time. Which means Diggs, Collins, Dell, Schultz, and Mixon will be the only pass catchers on the field the majority of the time.

Are there concerns about the defense?

Both Kimes and Bien-Aime designated Houston's secondary as the big x-factor this year. Bien-Aime named cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. as the only player in the secondary that he truly trusts. Is he right?

Be sure to watch the video above as we react to Kimes and Bien-Aime's outlook for the Texans this year, and share our thoughts on the possible pitfalls the team will have to navigate in the short and long-term.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome