White Sox battle, but Alvarez sparks Astros to 6-4 win
He's a part of a loaded lineup, so maybe that's why Yordan Alvarez is a bit overlooked outside of Houston.
The national appreciation finally started rolling in last October, when Alvarez had 3 home runs and 14 RBI in 13 postseason games while leading the Astros to a World Series.
Houston's mammoth designated hitter is picking up where he left off this season, and Alvarez was a big factor again Saturday afternoon in the Astros' 6-4 win over the White Sox at Minute Maid Park.
After receiving his Silver Slugger Award before the game for being the American League's top DH last year, the 6-foot-5, 225-pound Alvarez went 3-for-5 with an RBI and 2 runs scored as Houston beat the Sox for the second straight day.
Starting pitcher Mike Clevinger makes his debut Sunday as the White Sox try to salvage a split in the four-game series before returning to Guaranteed Rate Field for Monday afternoon's home opener against the Giants.
Alvarez hit a 442-foot home run off Reynaldo Lopez on Thursday in the Sox's 3-2 Opening Day win. On Friday, his 3-run double lifted the Astros to a 6-3 win.
The left-hander continued doing damage Saturday.
"They've got a good approach, getting the bat to the ball," White Sox starter Lucas Giolito told reporters.
Giolito started for the White Sox on Saturday and allowed 3 runs (2 earned) on 5 hits and 1 walk over 5 innings.
Houston took a 2-0 lead in the first inning on 4 singles.
I thought I made good pitches in the first inning," Giolito said. "They found a bunch of holes on me."
The Sox have been competitive against a standout team to start the year and they cut the Astros' lead in half on Yoan Moncada's home run leading off the second inning.
Catcher Seby Zavala's 2-run homer in the fourth put the White Sox in front, but Houston scored a run in the seventh inning and 2 more in the eighth and went on to win.
"They were able to find the holes, they got hits when they needed to and we didn't," Zavala said. "That's kind of why we lost."
The Sox did make a final push, scoring a run in the ninth inning on Eloy Jimenez's single to right field. Moncada came to the plate as the go-ahead run but struck out to end it.
"I like how we're playing right now," Giolito said. "Going up against a good opponent, everybody is in the game, we're playing hard. I like seeing guys hustle big-time on defense, we're running balls out.
"If we do that, we'll put ourselves in a good position."