Critical takeaways from Astros climbing above .500 for first time in 2024

BACK IN THE SADDLE

Astros Chas McCormick, Mauricio Dubon, Jake Meyers
The Astros are back in action Monday afternoon against the Blue Jays. Composite Getty Image.

The Astros took 2 of 3 in New York against the formerly hot Mets and finished the month of June with the best record in all of baseball (17-8).

ESPN Houston's John Granato and Lance Zierlein react to the series win, look ahead to the upcoming series with the Blue Jays, and much more!

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Mariners defeat Astros, 6-4. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez hit for the cycle against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, becoming the 10th player in Houston history to accomplish the feat.

Alvarez singled in the first inning, hit his 20th homer of the season off Mariners starter Bryan Woo in the fourth, added a run-scoring triple to center field in the sixth off Taylor Saucedo and completed the cycle with a double down the right field line in the eighth against Gregory Santos.

Alvarez finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Astros' 6-4 loss to Seattle.

Asked if he'd ever hit for a cycle in his baseball life, Alvarez said, “Not even in Playstation.”

“I’m very excited,” Alvarez said. “I felt a little bit of pressure there, but I knew I needed a double and when I hit the ball I said, ‘There it is.”

The 27-year-old Alvarez had the second cycle in the history of T-Mobile Park, after Miguel Tejada's on September 29, 2001.

The triple, the sixth of Alvarez's career, came on a fly ball to deep center field. Julio Rodríguez jumped for the ball against the wall, but dropped the catch and sprained his right ankle on the play. The ball rolled toward the infield before left fielder Dylan Moore grabbed it as Alvarez hustled into third.

“It was a confusing play,” Alvarez said. "When I hit the ball, I thought it was going to carry a little bit more, and then I saw him jump at the wall and make the catch, and then I saw him hit the wall and the ball drops and he drops. I just knew I needed to continue running there.”

Before Sunday, the most recent cycle by a member of the Astros came on August 28, 2023, by Jose Altuve against Boston.

Luke Raley hit a three-run homer, Bryan Woo pitched 5 2/3 solid innings and the Seattle Mariners overcame an injury to Julio Rodríguez to beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Sunday.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak and put the Mariners into a tie with Houston for the AL West Division lead.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHPs Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) and Luis Garcia (Tommy John surgery) both felt good after throwing bullpens on Saturday, and Espada said the plan is for both to throw again sometime in the next couple of days.

ROSTER MOVE

The Mariners traded RHP Mike Baumann to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday for cash considerations.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Spencer Arrighetti (4-7, 5.63 ERA) will pitch Monday in Houston’s series opener at Oakland.

Mariners: RHP Bryce Miller (7-7, 3.63 ERA) will start Monday against Angels lefty Tyler Anderson. Miller has a 4.46 ERA in his past seven starts, with 10 walks and 27 strikeouts.

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