HOUSTON (AP)Astros manager Dusty Baker considered giving Yordan Alvarez another day off after he sat out one game with a minor hand injury.
But the slugger told Baker he was ready, so Alvarez was penciled into the lineup Tuesday night.
”And ready he was,” Baker said.
Alvarez hit a two-run homer and Kyle Tucker had three RBIs to give Houston an 8-2 win over the New York Mets in an interleague matchup between two of the top teams in the majors.
The Astros trail only the Yankees in the American League, and the Mets top the National League standings.
Jose Altuve and Jose Siri added solo home runs for Houston in the first meeting between the teams since the Astros swept a three-game series in September 2017.
It was the first of nine straight games against the Mets and Yankees for the Astros, with visits to both New York teams on deck during their road trip that follows Wednesday’s series finale. After that, Houston hosts the Yankees for one game June 30 to help make up a series scrapped because of the lockout.
Houston led 3-0 after Altuve and Alvarez, who missed Sunday’s game with a hand injury, connected off starter Trevor Williams in the third inning. Tucker’s three-run double highlighted a four-run fifth that extended the lead to 7-0.
Jose Urquidy (6-3) allowed four hits and a run in six innings for the win. Urquidy, who walked one, threw a career-high 104 pitches.
”The location was good, and he had a very good breaking ball and changeup,” Baker said. ”And the location is the key.”
Pete Alonso hit his NL-leading 20th home run in the sixth and Eduardo Escobar added a solo shot in the seventh for the Mets, who went 0 for 6 with runners in scoring position.
Williams (1-4) yielded four hits and three runs over four innings in his sixth start of the season and first since June 5.
There was one out in the third when Altuve launched his homer into the second row of left-field seats to make it 1-0. Williams walked Alex Bregman before Alvarez connected on a shot to right to extend the lead to 3-0.
Alvarez was asked how his hand was feeling after the game.
”You guys saw the game,” he said in Spanish through a translator. ”No discomfort there.”
Alvarez’s homer came on an 83 mph curveball, giving him a .373 batting average and 12 home runs this season on all pitches besides fastballs.
Alonso and Mark Canha hit consecutive singles with one out in the fourth before the Mets loaded the bases when Luis Guillorme reached on an error by first baseman Yuli Gurriel. Urquidy settled down after that, striking out Escobar and J.D. Davis to escape the jam.
There were two outs in the fifth when Chasen Shreve walked Alvarez to load the bases. Tucker lined a double to right-center to clear the bases and make it 6-0.
”I couldn’t locate my fastball,” Shreve said. ”They’re a good hitting team and I didn’t have it today.”
Tucker stole third before Shreve walked Gurriel. Mauricio Dubon singled to put Houston up 7-0.
Siri snapped an 0-for-10 slump with a solo homer to the train tracks above left field in the eighth inning. He admired the shot for a few seconds before trotting to first base, a sequence Baker was not happy with.
”He should have ran,” Baker said. ”Back in our day the next guy would have gotten drilled.”
Mets: 2B Jeff McNeil sat out after leaving Monday’s game against Miami with right hamstring tightness. Manager Buck Showalter said tests didn’t reveal anything serious, and McNeil is day-to-day. … RHP Max Scherzer (oblique strain) allowed three hits and two runs with six strikeouts over 3 1/3 innings in his first rehabilitation start with Double-A Binghamton. He threw 65 pitches. … RHP Jacob deGrom (right shoulder injury) faced batters at the team’s complex in Florida.
Astros: RHP Jake Odorizzi, out since May 16 with a left leg injury, will begin a rehab assignment Friday with Triple-A Sugar Land. He is expected to pitch in two games there before coming off the injured list. … SS Aledmys Diaz missed a second straight game with discomfort in his left shoulder. … SS Jeremy Pena took swings in the batting cage for the first time since injuring his thumb about a week ago. There’s no timetable for his return.
WRONG BASE, KID
A 6-year-old boy named Oliver mistakenly trotted out to second base at the start of the seventh inning to try and swipe the base instead of running to the base set up on the warning track he was supposed to steal for an in-game promotion. Altuve and Dubon jokingly tried to pick up second base with him before directing him back to the outfield where he finally picked up the correct base to loud cheers from the crowd.
”We thought it would be funny to give him the bag, but it wasn’t going anywhere,” Dubon said. ”That was fun, though.”
New York RHP Carlos Carrasco (8-2, 3.96 ERA) opposes Luis Garcia (4-5, 3.41) when the two-game series concludes Wednesday.
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