Oakland A's

Álvarez Hits 2 HRs, Drives in 5 Runs as Astros Beat A's 9-6

Yordan Álvarez hit two homers and drove in five runs, José Altuve drove in the go-ahead run with a single, and the Houston Astros rallied to beat the Oakland Athletics 9-6 on Tuesday night for their fifth straight win.

Álvarez, who was activated off the paternity list on Monday, hit a two-run homer to center in the first and had a three-run blast to left in the fifth, tying the game at 6-all and ending the night for Oakland starter Chris Bassitt.

Álvarez said through a translator he had not gotten a lot of sleep the last couple nights, but he had another motor for the team.

“It’s super exciting to play that role in the game,” Álvarez said. “To be down by a bit and be able with one swing, with one big hit, to be able to make it a 0-0 game is very exciting.”

It was the second multi-homer game of the season for Álvarez, whose last came against the New York Yankees on May 6.

“His contribution today was the key for winning the game,” Altuve said of Álvarez. “He’s an amazing hitter overall. He can walk, hit doubles, homers. You really don’t know what to expect from him because he’s so good.”

The Astros took the lead with a three-run outburst in the sixth inning. Altuve gave the Astros their first lead with a two-run single, and Yuli Gurriel added an RBI groundout.

“It doesn’t matter how early or late in the season, we are trying to win games,” Altuve said. “It doesn’t matter the situation. Starting the game like we did today and being able to score runs like we did was huge. Every win we can get right now is important.”

Myles Straw had an RBI single in the fourth.

“Comebacks are always great,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “When you come back, it builds character and shows what you can do and shows that you’re never out of a game. That was as great a comeback as I’ve seen this year. That just adds to our confidence level going forward.”

Oakland tagged Houston starter Framber Valdez for three runs in the first and second innings.

Matt Olson and Chad Pinder hit RBI singles, and Jed Lowrie hit an RBI double in the first. In the second, Elvis Andrus hit an RBI single, and Ramón Laureano scored on an error by Martín Maldonado on a double steal. Olson had an RBI groundout to extend the lead to 6-2.

“To score six runs in the first two innings is encouraging, but we had one of those games where they just swung the bat better in the later part of the game,” Oakland manager Bob Melvin said.

Valdez surrendered a season-high six runs — five earned — on 10 hits with six strikeouts in five innings.

Bryan Abreu (3-3) threw two scoreless innings for the win. He was activated off the injured list prior to the game. Ryne Stanek threw a perfect eighth, and Ryan Pressly pitched the ninth for his 15th save.

Bassitt yielded a season-high six runs on eight hits with six strikeouts in 4 1/3 innings.

“If you’re going to miss locations, you better have life to your pitches,” Bassitt said. “I had nothing today.”

J.B. Wendelken (1-1) allowed two runs in one inning and took the loss. Oakland has lost four of the last five games.


Athletics: OF Mark Canha (hip) hit in the cage, was playing catch and doing other baseball activities in Oakland, Melvin said. … DH Mitch Moreland would likely be out past the All-Star break, Melvin said. Moreland was placed on the injured list on Sunday without an explanation.

Astros: IF Aledmys Díaz (fractured left hand) was catching a tennis ball and has been hitting off a tee and playing soft toss, but he’s still a couple weeks away, Baker said. … RHP Joe Smith (right elbow soreness) could be activated off the IL some time this week, Baker said.


Houston 3B coach Gary Pettis rejoined the Astros on Tuesday after being away from the team since September recovering from multiple myeloma. Prior to the game, the Astros played a video welcoming him back, and Pettis also took out the lineup card.


RHP Luis Garcia (6-5, 3.14 ERA) takes the mound Wednesday for the Astros opposite LHP Sean Manaea (6-5, 3.13).


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