OAKLAND -- The first homer dropped jaws and turned heads as it rattled around the green seats high above the right-center field wall at the Oakland Coliseum. Astros slugger Yordan Alvarez didn’t have time to admire his work, though.
“Sometimes I would like to do that, but I also have to step on the bases,” he said.
If the stunned reactions didn’t tell the full story, the metrics did. Alvarez’s first of two homers in Monday's 5-1 win over the A’s broke a scoreless tie and traveled a Statcast-projected 469 feet, which is the longest homer by an Astros player this season and the longest of Alvarez’s career. He added a 444-foot homer in the eighth inning for good measure.
“I don't know how far it was, but I know it was way up there,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said of the first homer. “I don’t think I’ve seen a ball hit up there. I’m sure there have been some. That was very impressive, and then he hits the second one, too, and hopefully he’s getting hot.”
Here’s the tale of the tape on Alvarez’s 913 feet’s worth of homers, both of which were solo shots:
Pitcher: Paul Blackburn
Exit velo: 113.9 mph
Launch angle: 28
Distance: 469 feet
Pitcher: A.J. Puk
Exit velo: 110.1 mph
Launch angle: 29
Distance: 444 feet
With that, Alvarez became the first player in the Major Leagues this year to hit at least two homers of 440 feet in one game, according to Statcast. He joins Aaron Judge and Shohei Ohtani as the only Major League players with at least three multi-homer games, and he’s tied with Gary Sánchez for the most multi-homer games (11) in a player’s first 276 career games.
“I think I was being a little more aggressive at the plate, and those things [happened],” Alvarez said.
Some of his teammates aren’t even surprised to see Alvarez crush baseballs to the far reaches of stadiums anymore. In fact, Alvarez said fellow Cuban Aledmys Diaz didn’t bother greeting him in the dugout because his tape-measure shots are so commonplace.
“He’s not even surprised when I do that anymore,” Alvarez joked.
Alvarez’s first homer snapped a home run drought that had extended 38 at-bats and 10 games. He hadn’t homered since May 17 at Boston, when the Astros slugged five home runs in one inning off Nathan Eovaldi. In fact, Houston had hit only five homers in its previous 11 games before Alvarez blasted two and Jose Altuve hit another on Monday.
The Astros are 16-0 this year when they hit multiple homers in a game.