Astros shine without stars in 7th straight win

August 20th, 2020

Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez, headed for right knee surgery, is out for the rest of the season, and the club is holding its breath about the health of Alex Bregman, who left Wednesday’s game with a right hamstring strain. That didn’t stop them flexing some major offensive muscle at Coors Field.

The Astros ran their season-high winning streak to seven games and snapped a five-game road losing streak by bashing the Rockies, 13-6. Houston got homers from , and , and (11 total bases) as it scored twice in the fifth, three times in the sixth and four times in the seventh on 14 hits.

“You get down for a moment, and you’ve got to find a way to respond,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “The guys responded. … We had a huge offensive output.”

Houston got hits from every offensive starter, led by Correa (3-for-5 with three RBIs) and Tucker (4-for-5 with four RBIs). Tucker also became the first player in Astros history with two triples and a homer in the same game.

“We’ve gotta keep moving forward and putting up good at-bats,” said Tucker, who tripled in the fifth and sixth and homered in the ninth.

With Alvarez out for the season, Tucker stands to remain in the regular lineup like he has been during the first half of the season. Performances like Wednesday give Baker hope for his short-handed offense. Tucker had only three extra-base hits in 83 at-bats before having three against the Rockies.

“We need Tucker, and especially with the injury situation,” Baker said. “He had a big night tonight. We just hope he continues to improve and continues to use the whole field.”

Rookie started at designated hitter -- the position at which Alvarez slugged his way to the 2019 American League Rookie of the Year Award -- and recorded his first two Major League hits and RBIs in consecutive at-bats. The Astros scored more runs Wednesday than in their previous four games combined and had more hits than their previous three games.

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Lefty starter benefited from the outburst and threw a career-high 7 2/3 innings, allowing seven hits and three runs (one earned). He’s the sixth pitcher in Astros history to throw at least seven innings at Coors Field and allow one or fewer earned runs.

Valdez (2-2) lowered his ERA to 1.72, which is the fourth-lowest in the AL, as Houston’s starters have posted a collective 1.18 ERA during the team’s seven-game winning streak.

“He’s really improved,” Baker said. “He’s learning how to command his pitches and how to command himself, which is important.”