Altov Homers twice as they defeated the Astros Diamondbacks 10-2

HOUSTON – Jose Altove scored two goals out of five games on Houston soil to lead the Astros to a 10-2 victory over the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night in a game that left Jordan Alvarez with an ankle injury.

The Astros, who had already won the Western American League title, moved with one win or one loss by the New York Yankees to secure their home field advantage through the playoffs.

Altuve made it 5-1 with his solo career at home with two sixth-place wins over Ian Kennedy. David Hensley hit his first major league home with a two-round shot later in the inning, and the Astros turned back when Alex Bregman sent Kennedy Stadium on the train tracks up left field.

Jeremy Peña scored a 10-2 win in eighth place.

Alvarez, second in the MLS with 37 players, was knocked out in the fifth game with left ankle discomfort after twisting his ankle running out of the penalty area in one first-half stroke.

He appeared to be in some pain when he ran to first base and was briefly checked by manager Dusty Baker and coach before staying in the game. He acted as the designated hitter on Tuesday, taking off in the third inning before being replaced by Hensley on his racket in the fifth.

Becker said the X-ray was negative and he should be fine in a couple of days.

“We thought it was best to take him out and take care of him,” Becker said.

Lance McCullers Jr. was scratched Tuesday afternoon with an undisclosed illness and Luis Garcia started in his place. Garcia (14-8) allowed four strokes and one six-stroke run in six runs for his sixth straight win.

“He was aggressive with a fast ball in the area,” Becker said. “He had an excellent drive at that. He had a good cutter and a good slider. He showed good things tonight, very good things.”

Arizona quarterback Zack Davis (2-5) yielded six hits and four runs in 4 1/3 innings to take the loss after not factoring in the decision in his last 11 starts.

Geraldo Perdomo and Dolton Farcho hit the home odds for the Diamondbacks, who lost for the fourth time in five games.

Hensley’s big night came after he entered the game by skating 0 to 9.

“That’s all I’ve been working for,” he said. “To see success happen, it feels really good.”

Becker was impressed with the way Hensley operated after Alvarez’s exit.

“It was great for a guy to hit his first home race in the order that Alvarez usually hits,” he said. “We are all so happy for him. He has been doing a good job for us.”

Altuve put the Astros early with a leading shot. It was his twelfth frontrunner this season, tying the franchise record set by George Springer in 2019.

There were two outs in the third game when Perdomo drew home to the right center field.

The Astros led 2-1 in the sacrifice fly by Tre Mancini in the fourth. Altuve doubled for fifth and later scored on one by Hensley chased by Davis.

Taylor Widener took over and was greeted by one Bergman. Widener then crushed Kyle Tucker to load the bases before Yuli Gouriel dropped with a force to score Hensley and left Tucker in second.

Arizona coach Brent Strom, who spent 2014-2021 in the same position with the Astros, was emotional on his first trip to Houston since leaving the team after last year’s world championships.

Strom, who is credited with much of the development of young shooters in Houston, cried candidly as he discussed how much of his time with the team was for him.

“I was looking forward to it,” he said. “I grew up with these guys.”

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

“I almost forgot (the track) because I was so disappointed to lose the world championship,” Strom said of Houston’s six-game loss to the Atlanta Braves.

The Astros had 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 due to “temperatures trending warmer than expected”.

The temperature in the first degree was declared as 85 degrees. The roof rarely opens during matches due to the sweltering heat in Houston.

Diamondbacks: Jake McCarthy was brought back from the bereavement list and Alek Thomas was selected for Triple-A Reno Tuesday.

Astros: Baker said McCullers stayed home Tuesday and didn’t show up on the field. He added that he was not sure when his next start would be.

Houston’s Justin Verlander (17-4, 1.82 ERA), who tops the ERA majors, will attempt his leading 18th win on Wednesday night against Zach Gallen (12-3, 2.46) when the streak continues.

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