Apr 21, 2023; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Houston Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez (44) celebrates after a home run against the Atlanta Braves in the ninth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Yordan’s two-run blast in the 9th inning lifts Houston Astros to 6-4 win over Atlanta Braves
The Houston Astros left the Atlanta Braves stunned on Friday night at Truist Park. Houston overcame a three-run deficit with multiple runs in the seventh and ninth innings to edge past the Braves, 6-4.
With the game tied 4-4 in the top of the ninth inning, Yordan Álvarez delivered the coup de grâce to the Braves.
The stage was set by Mauricio Dubón, who reached with a ground ball single to left field. With two outs, Álvarez stepped to the plate with Dubón at first.
Right before Álvarez hit his big home run, Dubón moved to second on a balk caused by a miscommunication between reliever A. J. Minter and Atlanta first baseman Matt Olson.
After the short detour, Minter delivered his pitch, an up-and-away cutter that Álvarez launched 405 feet over the right-center field wall to give Houston (10-10) a 6-4 advantage, which would be the final score.
The Houston Astros opened the scoring with a run in the first inning. Third baseman Alex Bregman brought Dubón home with a double on a line drive to center field that made it 1-0 in favor of the Astros. Dubón reached on a throwing error by Atlanta (14-6) third baseman Austin Riley.
In the bottom of the inning, however, the Braves put a beat down on rookie Hunter Brown. Ronald Acuña Jr. doubled to get things started. Even though Brown was able to come back and strikeout Olson, Riley doubled with a line drive to center field of his own that scored Acuña and tied the game.
Brown then walked Sean Murphy. The young starting pitcher got his second strikeout of the contest against Eddie Rosario, but then he allowed another double. This time it was from Ozzie Albies, which scored both Murphy and Riley.
Vaughn Grissom hit a ground ball to left field that just got past the outstretched hands of a diving Jeremy Peña for a single. The hit brought home Albies and made it 4-1 in favor of the Braves.
After an eventful first inning for both teams, the bats went quiet for both sides over the next five innings.
Brown bounced back from his rough first-inning performance, in which he threw 29 pitches, to give up four earned runs over 4.2 innings on 93 pitches and struck out seven. He did allow any runs after the first inning.
Houston overcame Atlanta’s three-run lead in the seventh inning. The Astros jumped on reliever Jesse Chavez. The inning began with a walk to Corey Julks. Catcher Yainer Díaz doubled to right field and was then aided by an odd fielding error committed by Acuña that saw the baseball slip out of his glove.
The error allowed Julks to score and Díaz to move to third base. Jake Meyers kept things going with a line drive single to right field that scored Díaz, cutting Atlanta’s lead to just 4-3. The Astros tied the game with a line drive to center field from Dubón.
Houston scored all three of its runs without nobody out, forcing Atlanta to take Chavez out of the game. Even though Bregman drew a walk to put runners at first and second with no outs, Houston was unable to score any more runs in the inning.
Phil Maton, Ryne Stanek, Hector Neris, and Ryan Pressly all pitched in relief. The four pitchers combined for 4.1 innings giving up 0 runs, 0 hits, and striking out five batters.
News and Notes
• Dubón extended his hitting streak to 15 games.
• With the win, the Astros are back at .500 for the first time since April 2.
Outfielder prospect Zach Daniels had the hook of the hamate bone removed from his left wrist Thursday morning and will be out six-to-eight weeks, the Astros announced. The fourth-round draft pick in the 2020 MLB Draft was batting .385 before his injury for the Double-A Corpus Christi Hooks.
Michael Brantley is scheduled to make a rehab appearance for the Sugar Land Space Cowboys at Constellation Field on Sunday.
The Astros face off against the Atlanta Braves in game two of the three-game series. The first pitch on Saturday is set for 6:20 p.m. CT. Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.80 ERA) will take the mound for Houston against Atlanta’s Kyle Wright (0-0, 6.23 ERA).