Rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez slugged another home run while left-hander Framber Valdez delivered a second consecutive quality start as the Houston Astros claimed their three-game series with the visiting Toronto Blue Jays by virtue of a 7-2 victory on Saturday.
Alvarez cranked a two-out solo home run to right field off Blue Jays left-hander Clayton Richard in the third inning, a 439-foot laser into the upper deck that stretched the Houston lead to 3-0. Alvarez, who added a pair of singles and posted his second consecutive three-hit game, has bashed four homers in five games since his promotion from Triple-A Round Rock last Sunday.
Alvarez wasn't the lone hitting start for the Astros, who will pursue the series sweep Sunday. Fellow rookie Jack Mayfield stroked three doubles and scored three runs while right fielder Josh Reddick belted his eighth home run, greeting Blue Jays reliever Nick Kingham with a leadoff blast into the Astros bullpen in right-center in the sixth inning.
Tyler White and Myles Straw also added multi-hit games for the Astros, who recorded a dozen hits, seven for extra bases.
Valdez (3-2) faced just two batters over the minimum while carrying a shutout into the fifth inning. Freddy Galvis and Cavan Biggio responded with back-to-back singles to open that frame and both scored to cut the Toronto deficit to 5-2 before Valdez eluded further damage that frame. He worked around a Teoscar Hernandez walk in the sixth by striking out the side.
Valdez allowed two runs on four hits and two walks with eight strikeouts. Since replacing rookie right-hander Corbin Martin in the rotation, Valdez has surrendered three runs on nine hits and two walks with 15 strikeouts over 13 innings. He tossed 82 pitches and recorded 51 strikes.
Richard (0-3) lasted five innings for the Blue Jays, allowing five runs on seven hits and two walks with one strikeout. He uncorked two wild pitches and hit a batter with a pitch. The Blue Jays have dropped 13 of 17 games.
--Field Level Media