Mancini's Astros tenure off to historic start after 2-HR game

Slugger becomes 1st Houston player to record all homers for 1st 3 hits with franchise

August 6th, 2022

CLEVELAND -- Despite having only played two games at Minute Maid Park as an Astro, the team’s newest power hitter has already slugged his way into Houston’s heart.

After introducing himself to Space City with a two-run home run on Wednesday, Trey Mancini bashed his way around Progressive Field on Friday with a two homer, five-RBI performance in the Astros’ 9-3 win over the Guardians.

Not only has Mancini’s start to his Astros tenure been electric, but it’s also been record-setting. After mashing a Hunter Gaddis cutter 407 feet for his first home run in the second inning, Mancini recorded his first signature moment as an Astro in the third inning, when he crushed a ball 377 feet over the right-field wall for his first career grand slam.

That’s right: After not recording a grand slam in 701 games as an Oriole, Mancini only needed four games as an Astro to get one. And no, before you ask, it wouldn’t have been a home run at Camden Yards.

“From the second I got traded here, I wanted to make a positive impact when I’m in [the game], so I’m excited to keep it going. … Yeah, that’s my first grand slam. Took me a long time, but I finally got one.”

With the grand slam, Mancini became the first player in Astros history to have his first three hits with the franchise go for home runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. His seven RBIs over his first four games with the team also tied a franchise record. Mancini also became the first player in AL/NL history to homer in each of his first two starts with his first two teams, as he homered in his first two starts with the Orioles in 2016.

“I didn’t really look too far ahead [when I got traded],” Mancini said. “The first day, I was just really trying to learn everyone’s name and getting acquainted. I’m thrilled with how things have gone so far.”

Friday’s grand slam was the perfect example of how Mancini is the perfect addition to Houston’s lineup. After leading off the third inning by allowing a single to No. 9 hitter Martín Maldonado, Gaddis gave up singles to Jose Altuve and Yordan Alvarez, meaning he had nowhere to put Mancini. With a series of MVP-caliber hitters batting in front of him, Mancini should get a plethora of chances to hit with runners on base. And, if Friday was any indication, he should cash in on many of those chances. 

“He gives Dusty [Baker] some flexibility to move some guys around and rest the big pieces and not lose any fire power,” said bench coach Joe Espada, serving as the acting manager after Baker tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday. “No surprise that [Mancini] gets the bat to the ball, and hits the ball hard.”

Astros starter Framber Valdez was able to keep a potential record-breaking streak of his own alive, as he extended his quality-start streak to 18 games by allowing three runs over 6 1/3 innings -- putting him two shy of tying Mike Scott’s franchise record set in 1986.

Valdez’s streak appeared to be in jeopardy when he exited with one out and the bases loaded in the seventh, but Seth Martinez got Amed Rosario to pop out and struck out Nolan Jones looking to keep the streak intact.

“I thought he threw the ball really well,” Espada said. “Things kind of sped up on him in the seventh inning, but tonight’s win started with good starting pitching.”