Yordan Alvarez was able to break out of a recent slump with a homer Monday against the Indians. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images.
After a disappointing series where they lost two of three in Chicago against the White Sox to pick up after the All-Star break, the Astros returned home for six games starting with three against the Indians on Monday night. Albeit a close game throughout, Houston would get the win to start the series with a victory.
Final Score: Astros 4, Indians 3
Astros' Record: 57-38, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Zack Greinke (9-3)
Losing Pitcher: C.J. Mejia (1-5)
Greinke gets a decent start
Zack Greinke, on lengthy rest, had a decent night on the mound, giving up just one hit over the first three innings before Cleveland got on the board with a two-out solo homer in the top of the fourth, at the time tying the game 1-1. He rebounded by erasing a walk in the fifth, but after back-to-back hits to start the sixth, he would get just one out before Houston turned to Cristian Javier. Javier would allow one of Greinke's runs to score before finishing the inning, making Zack's final line 5.1 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K, 1 HER, 84 P.
Alvarez breaks out of his slump
Greinke remained in line for the win, though, thanks to some run support behind him. Houston took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first on an RBI double by Yuli Gurriel, plating Michael Brantley, who singled ahead of him. After Cleveland tied it in the top of the fourth, Martin Maldanado untied it with a two-out RBI single to put the Astros back in front 2-1.
After Brantley reached base again in the bottom of fifth, Yordan Alvarez was able to finally get something positive at the plate, breaking his recent slump with a two-run homer to extend Houston's lead to 4-1 at the time. After finishing the sixth for Greinke while giving up a run, Javier remained on the mound in the top of the seventh and erased a leadoff single to keep it a 4-2 game.
Astros hang on to take the opener
Ryne Stanek was next out of Houston's bullpen in the top of the eighth, and unlike his recent success, he allowed a run on two walks and an RBI single to tighten the lead to 4-3 before finishing the frame. Ryan Pressly, the Astros' closer, came on for his first inning of work since July 10th to try and get the save in the 4-3 game in the top of the ninth. Despite allowing the tying run aboard with a leadoff walk, Pressly retired the next three batters to finish off the win for Houston.
Up Next: The middle game of this three-game series will be another 7:10 PM Central start on Tuesday. The expected pitching matchup is Triston McKenzie (1-3, 5.47 ERA) for Cleveland and Luis Garcia (6-5, 3.06 ERA) for Houston.
Rockets' Alperen Sengun recently was a guest on Paul George's podcast and spoke about a conversation he had with James Harden.
He said Harden told him he was proud of him. This led George to saying he thinks this means the torch has been passed from Harden to Sengun.
Which made us wonder, is this now Sengun's team? Or is that a little premature and the true leader of the team is head coach Ime Udoka or Fred VanVleet?
Plus, Jalen Green has responded positively from being benched. Is this proof that Ime Udoka has the team taking more accountability and heading in the right direction?
Be sure to watch the video above as we break it all down!
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