Alvarez, Austin power Team USA past Israel

July 30th, 2021

Eddy Alvarez has the Olympic rings tattooed on his left biceps, so it was only right that he provided much of the muscle in Team USA’s first game of the Olympics on Friday.

Alvarez recorded a pair of RBI doubles and Tyler Austin notched three extra-base hits en route to an 8-1 victory over Israel.

Alvarez, an infielder for the Marlins’ Triple-A affiliate who is chronicling his journey in Tokyo, got the scoring started in the third inning with a looping double down the left-field line that brought home A’s prospect Nick Allen. 

Austin then hammered the next offering from Israel starter Joey Wagman into the seats at Yokohama Stadium for a two-run homer. It’s a feeling familiar to Austin, the former Yankee who currently calls the stadium home as a member of Yokohama BayStars.

That was plenty of support for USA starting pitcher and Twins prospect Joe Ryan. The righty threw six innings, allowed five hits and struck out five. His only blemish came via a fourth-inning homer by Israel first baseman Danny Valencia, who spent nine years in the Majors.

Alvarez’s second RBI double came in the sixth inning and was followed immediately by Austin’s own run-scoring double. Red Sox Minor Leaguer Triston Casas, the No. 30 prospect in baseball according to MLB Pipeline, capped the day with a single that plated Austin in the ninth.

Team USA's second game in the group stage will come against Korea on Saturday. Israel, which lost to Korea on Thursday and went 0-2 in the group stage, will wait to see its opponent in the knockout round.