HOUSTON -- To say the Astros have missed the bat of first baseman Yuli Gurriel would be an understatement.Gurriel, who made his season debut in Friday's win, crushed his first home run of the season en route to going 2-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs in Saturday's 6-5
HOUSTON -- To say the Astros have missed the bat of first baseman Yuli Gurriel would be an understatement.
Gurriel, who made his season debut in Friday's win, crushed his first home run of the season en route to going 2-for-5 with a run scored and three RBIs in Saturday's 6-5 loss in 10 innings to the Rangers at Minute Maid Park. Gurriel's three-run homer in the fourth put the Astros ahead, 5-0.
"He helps our lineup," manager AJ Hinch said. "He's a really good at-bat and certainly contributing right away is going to help him. I think those extra at-bats in the Minor Leagues helped him feel confident that he's back and ready to go. I put him right in the middle of the order and expect him to be in the middle of things, and that's what Yuli does."
Rangers starter Mike Minor faced the minimum through three innings before George Springer and Alex Bregman opened the fourth with singles. Jose Altuve was hit by a pitch to load the bases for Carlos Correa, who hit a two-run double to left. Gurriel turned on a Minor pitch and sent it a projected 382 feet with an exit velocity of 100 mph, according to Statcast™, into the seats.
It was Gurriel's first home run since his game-tying three-run jack in Game 5 of the World Series last year against the Dodgers. Gurriel was suspended five games to start the season for an insensitive gesture he made directed towards Dodgers pitcher Yu Darvish in the World Series and then spent 10 days on the disabled list following hand surgery on Feb. 28.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.