Houston takes game one of this exciting series

Altuve leads the Astros offense to opener win over Giants

Jose Altuve drove in five runs on two homers in Friday's opener against the Giants. Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

With the trade deadline come and gone, the Astros began a high-profile series with the Giants in San Francisco on Friday night. Thanks in part to a big night at the plate by Jose Altuve, they would get the impressive win to start the series in what could be a World Series preview.

Final Score: Astros 9, Giants 6

Astros' Record: 64-40, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (7-2)

Losing Pitcher: Kevin Gausman (9-5)

Altuve and Houston's offense build a lead

The Astros, as they have often done in recent matchups, were able to grab an immediate lead in the first inning. They worked three straight singles to start the game, the third an RBI by Yuli Gurriel. They went on to load the bases, setting up an RBI walk by Kyle Tucker to double the lead to 2-0 but would leave the bases loaded to end the frame.

After the Giants evened things up with a two-run third, Jose Altuve, who started the game with a single, homered in back-to-back at-bats in the fifth and sixth. The homer in the fifth was a solo go-ahead shot, but the louder of the two came in the top of the sixth. Houston loaded the bases in front of him, and Altuve took advantage with a grand slam to extend the lead to 7-2.

Valdez goes five innings

The game taking place in the NL ballpark of the Giants meant that Framber Valdez was not just pitching but also hitting. On the mound, he retired the first seven batters in a row before San Fransisco would get their two runs in the third on back-to-back RBI hits with one out. Valdez finished that inning and two more before being pinch-hit for in the top of the sixth ahead of Altuve's slam. His final line: 5.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 89 P.

Graveman makes a strong debut as Astros hold on to take the opener

That set up the start of the bullpen's night in the bottom of the sixth. Blake Taylor was first, and he allowed the Giants to trim a run off the lead with back-to-back doubles before finishing the inning. Ryne Stanek came in for the bottom of the seventh but would have a rough appearance as two runs would score on two singles, a walk, and an error, making it 7-5. That prompted a change to bring in Kendall Graveman to make his Astros debut, entering with two on and two out. He would get the third out, sending the game to the eighth, where Carlos Correa would give him another run to work with on an RBI double.

Graveman returned in the bottom of the inning, making a strong statement to finish off his first appearance with his new team by striking out the side to retire all four batters he faced. In the top of the ninth, Aledmys Diaz would help get one more run back for insurance, leading the inning off with a solo home run to make it a four-run game at 9-5. Ryan Pressly came in to try and close things out in the bottom of the ninth. Despite allowing a run on three straight hits to start the inning, he did so, finishing the win for Houston to start this three-game set.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be a 3:05 PM Central start on Saturday. Zack Greinke (10-3, 3.48 ERA) will try to get his eleventh win of the year for the Astros, while the Giants will send Alex Wood (9-3, 3.65 ERA) to the mound looking for his tenth.

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