The Astros clubbed four home runs in a 10-8 victory over the Brewers in the series opener at Minute Maid Park, highlighted by 21-year-old rookie Yordan Alvarez becoming the first player in franchise history to hit a home run in his first two games.
“Something incredible and emotional,” said Alvarez, who’s the 23rd player in MLB history to homer in his first two games. “I can hardly describe it, to be able to hit two home runs in my first two games in the big leagues.”
“When you play the Brewers, you have to outslug them,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said. “I walked into the day thinking we were going to have to outhit them. They’re very, very potent and a dangerous lineup.”
The Astros have been winning despite the absence of Altuve, Springer and Correa, and it will only be a matter of time before they’re in the lineup with Alvarez, which should give the rest of the American League worry.
Alvarez, the team’s No. 3 prospect, per MLB Pipeline, took Brewers reliever Matt Albers deep in the fifth inning after striking out in his first two at-bats.
“I haven’t really been around him enough to see how he responds to the success or failure, but after a couple of punchouts he stays on the ball, he’s got tremendous strength, the ball’s jumping tonight,” Hinch said. “It was a nice swing, and we needed as many runs as we could get.”
Alvarez reached down and poked a 2-2 changeup that was below the strike zone and lofted it over the wall in right field, scoring Gurriel. The homer traveled 353 feet and had a 97.9 mph exit velocity.
“I struck out two times and that’s part of the game, but I focused on my next at-bat and luckily it went my way,” Alvarez said.
The second homer was drastically different than his first on Sunday. Facing the Orioles in his second big league at-bat, Alvarez crushed a pitch from Dylan Bundy and sent it 413 feet over the wall in left-center -- opposite field. The ball jumped off Alvarez’s bat at 107.3 mph and never got more than 80 feet off the ground.
White’s homer was his second of the season in 130 at-bats, and Gurriel went 3-for-5 with a double to go along with his first homer since May 21.
“They’re good players and they’ve worked really hard to stay positive and just contribute when they can,” Hinch said. “There’s so much attention on any of our guys [that] whenever they go through a little bit of a rut, they’re allowed to have a bad day every now and then. Especially Whitey, who I know has had a really rough year to start with the power and for him to be in and out of the lineup. Yuli is a very consistent performer when he stays the course.”