ARIZONA DIAMONDBACKS

Brent Strom receives AL Championship ring prior to D-backs’ loss to Astros

Sep 27, 2022, 9:15 PM
(Twitter Photo/@Astros)...
(Twitter Photo/@Astros)
(Twitter Photo/@Astros)

HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve hit two of Houston’s five home runs to lead the Astros to a 10-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a game where Yordan Alvarez left with an ankle injury.

The Astros, who have already won the American League West title, moved within one win or one loss by the New York Yankees of securing home-field advantage through the AL playoffs.

Altuve made it 5-1 with his solo home run with two outs in the sixth off Ian Kennedy. David Hensley hit his first major league homer with a two-run shot later in the inning, and the Astros went back-to-back when Alex Bregman sent Kennedy’s pitch on the train tracks atop left field.

Jeremy Peña’s two-run drive made it 10-2 in the eighth.

Alvarez, who is tied for second in the American League with 37 homers, exited in the fifth inning with left ankle discomfort after rolling his ankle running out of the box on a single in the first.

He looked to be in some pain as he jogged to first base and was checked on briefly by manager Dusty Baker and a trainer before remaining in the game. Serving as the designated hitter on Tuesday, he struck out in the third inning before being replaced by Hensley for his at-bat in the fifth.

Lance McCullers Jr. was scratched Tuesday afternoon with an undisclosed illness and Luis Garcia started in his place. Garcia (14-8) allowed four hits and one run with six strikeouts in six innings to get his sixth straight win.

Arizona starter Zach Davies (2-5) yielded six hits and four runs in 4.1 innings to take the loss after not factoring in the decision in his last 11 starts.

Geraldo Perdomo and Daulton Varsho hit solo homers for the Diamondbacks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Altuve put the Astros up early with a leadoff shot. It was his 12th leadoff homer this season, tying the franchise record set by George Springer in 2019.

There were two outs in the third inning when Perdomo tied it with his home run to right-center field.

The Astros took a 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly by Trey Mancini in the fourth. Altuve doubled in the fifth and later scored on a single by Hensley that chased Davies.

Taylor Widener took over and was greeted by a single from Bregman. Widener then plunked Kyle Tucker to load the bases before Yuli Gurriel grounded in a forceout that scored Hensley and left Tucker out at second.

EMOTIONAL RETURN

Arizona pitching coach Brent Strom, who spent 2014-21 in the same position with the Astros, was emotional in his first trip to Houston since leaving the team after the World Series last year.

Strom, credited with much of the development of Houston’s young pitchers, wept openly as he discussed how much his time with the team meant to him.

“I’ve been looking forward to this,” he said. “I grew up with these guys.”

Strom was presented with his AL Championship ring before the game.

“I almost forgot (about the ring) because I was so disappointed in losing the World Series,” Strom said of Houston’s defeat in six games to the Atlanta Braves.

CLOSED

The Astros planned to leave the retractable roof at Minute Maid Park open for Tuesday night’s game but announced about an hour before first pitch that it would be closed as usual because of “temperatures trending warmer than anticipated.”

The temperature at first pitch was announced as 85 degrees. The roof is rarely open during games because of the extreme heat in Houston.

UP NEXT

Houston’s Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.82 ERA), whose ERA leads the majors, will try for his AL-leading 18th win Wednesday night against Zac Gallen (12-3, 2.46) when the series continues.

First pitch is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. and can be heard on ESPN 620 AM / 98.7 FM HD-2.

Penguin Air
Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies throws against the Houston Astros during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros starting pitcher Luis Garcia throws against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros third base coach Gary Pettis (8) low fives Jose Altuve, right, as he rounds third base on his home run during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, head to second base on his home run off of Arizona Diamondbacks starting pitcher Zach Davies (27), as he looks on from the mound during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks' Geraldo Perdomo celebrates as he crosses home plate on his home run against the Houston Astros during the third inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker, left, lays down a bunt for a hit in front of Arizona Diamondbacks catcher Carson Kelly, right, during the first inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks third base coach Tony Perezchica, left, and Geraldo Perdomo (2) celebrate the home run by Perdomo as he rounds the bases during the third inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman Ketel Marte (4) misses the catch on the throw from the plate as Houston Astros runner Kyle Tucker (30) is safe on his steal of second base during the fourth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' David Hensley, watches his RBI single hit to left field, scoring Jose Altuve, during the fifth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros designated hitter David Hensley reacts as bubble gum is thrown on his head in the dugout during a celebration of his two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena (3) and David Hensley (17) celebrate after they both scored on the two run home run by Hensley during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Arizona DiamondbacksTuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena (3) and Jose Altuve, right, celebrate the home run by Altuve against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' David Hensley, left, and Alex Bregman, right, mug for cameras in the dugout as Christian Vazquez, middle, photo bombs as they all celebrate the home runs by Hensley and Bregman during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros designated hitter David Hensley, pinch hitting for Yordan Alvarez, connects for a two run home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Fans wave signs as Arizona Diamondbacks relief pitcher Ian Kennedy, left, heads to the mound while Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, right, rounds third base on his home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Arizona Diamondbacks' Daulton Varsho (12) scores on his home run in front of umpire Nick Mahrley, right, during the eighth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros relief pitcher Phil Maton reacts after striking out Arizona Diamondbacks' Stone Garrett for the final out of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. The Astros won 10-2. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros' Jeremy Pena, left, and Jose Altuve hug after the team's 10-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks in a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke) Houston Astros catcher Yainer Diaz prepares to throw to first for the out on a grounder by Arizona Diamondbacks' Josh Rojas, right, during the ninth inning of a baseball game Tuesday, Sept. 27, 2022, in Houston. (AP Photo/Michael Wyke)

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