Mandatory Credit: Photo by Maria Lysaker/UPI/Shutterstock (13463382f) Houston Astros Yordan Alvarez is congratulated by Alex Bregman after hitting a two-run home run in the sixth inning to give the Astros a 3-2 lead over the Seattle Mariners in game two of their American League Division Series at Minute Maid Park in Houston on Thursday, October 13, 2022. Alds Astros Mariners, Houston, Texas, United States – 13 Oct 2022
After one of the biggest homers in recent postseason memory by Yordan Alvarez to win Game 1 for the Astros, Houston’s premier slugger did it again in Game 2.
After giving up an early one-run lead, Houston sent Alvarez to the plate in the bottom of the sixth with a runner on base, and he once again put the team on his back, launching a go-ahead homer that would prove the difference. The Astros would go on to win Game 2 of the ALDS by a score of 4-2 to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the series.
Tucker’s homer starts the scoring, Seattle gets to Valdez in the fourth
Unlike Justin Verlander in Game 1, Framber Valdez made it through the top of the first inning unscathed in Game 2. Valdez settled in well to start the game, retiring the first eight batters he faced before allowing a two-out double in the top of the third to J.P. Crawford, though he’d get a groundball to strand him there.
Meanwhile, Kyle Tucker gave Valdez a one-run lead to work with, courtesy of a one-out solo home run to right in the bottom of the second off of Luis Castillo, giving Houston the early 1-0 advantage. Seattle threatened in the top of the fourth, getting a one-out walk followed by a double to put runners on second and third with one out.
Valdez induced a ground ball but, in a quick attempt to throw the runner out at home, threw the ball past Maldonado, allowing Seattle to tie things up 1-1. Dylan Moore followed that with an RBI single, giving the Mariners a one-run lead before Valdez could get out of the frame.
Alvarez does it again
After a scoreless fifth on both sides, Valdez would struggle to get through the top of the sixth, getting two outs before loading the bases on two walks and a double, prompting Dusty Baker to dip into his bullpen. Hector Neris came in and stranded all three inherited runners with a big third out to keep it a one-run game. Framber Valdez’s final line: 5.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 92 P.
Houston started a two-out rally in the bottom of the sixth, with Jeremy Peña getting his second hit of the game, a double to get the tying run in scoring position. He trotted home as Yordan Alvarez would launch his second clutch home run of the series, this one a go-ahead two-run blast off Castillo to put the Astros back on top, 3-2.
Astros take Game 2 and 2-0 series lead
Byran Abreu took over on the mound in the top of the seventh, facing three batters and getting two outs while issuing a walk before Rafael Montero entered and, despite a walk of his own, recorded the third out to end another threat.
Montero went back out in the top of the eighth, working around a one-out walk to get a scoreless inning and leave Houston three outs away from another come-from-behind victory. After seven innings by Castillo for Seattle, the Mariners moved to their bullpen in the bottom of the eighth, with Andres Munoz coming in to face the top of Houston’s order.
Peña would again start a rally, working a two-out walk before Seattle intentionally walked Alvarez to bring up Alex Bregman. Bregman capitalized, bringing in Peña on an RBI single to extend the lead to 4-2. Houston then turned to closer Ryan Pressly, who would work around a walk and a double to hold off the Mariners with a scoreless top of the ninth to finish the win.
News and notes
Series shifts to Seattle: With the first two games in Houston in the books, this ALDS will travel to Seattle for Games 3 and 4 (if necessary). It will be the first postseason game in Seattle since the 2001 playoffs.
Game 3 Matchup: Game 3 will start at 3:07 PM Central on Saturday from T-Mobile Park. Lance McCullers Jr. (4-2, 2.27 ERA) will take the ball for Houston, opposite George Kirby (8-5, 3.39 ERA).
Yordan makes history: With his go-ahead home run in the bottom of the sixth, Yordan Alvarez became the first player in MLB postseason history to have multiple go-ahead homers in the sixth inning or later.