Astros lead 1-0 in American League Division Series after early home runs by Alvarez and Altuve


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Justin Verlander pitched six scoreless innings and Yordan Alvarez hit two home runs to lift the Houston Astros in Game 1 of the American League Division Series They won the game 6-4 and started their journey to the World Series.

The Astros led 5-0 after six innings on Jose Altuve’s leadoff home run in the first inning, Alvarez’s two-run bomb in the third and an RBI double in the fifth.

Verlander gave way to Hector Nellis in the seventh inning, when the Twins scored four runs on back-to-back home runs. Alvarez later added a run in the bottom of the seventh inning with a home run off a foul pole in right field.

Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly scored in relief in the final two and three innings to douse the Twins’ comeback flames.

Carlos Correa had two hits in the loss, including a double that slowly advanced to second base. The Twins shortstop has been dealing with plantar fasciitis before returning to Houston.

Houston has a chance to take a 2-0 lead in Game 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m. when Flamber Valdez takes on Minnesota’s ace pitcher Pablo Lopez.

Yes, Correa has since returned to Houston Heading to the Minnesota Twins before the 2022 seasonAlthough he had just two hits in six games as a visiting team at Minute Maid Park, the former No. 1 overall pick was on a mission at the old venue hosted by his former teammates: Win, keep winning, win. The pennant, then the world championship.

Therefore, the stakes are high. Especially for Houston, this is a chance to make history.Major League Baseball doesn’t have a team Won the World Series again after 23 years, head coach Dusty Baker and his club think they can break that drought. After all, when Justin Verlander throws out the first pitch at Minute Maid Park at 3:45 p.m., it will mark the Astros’ seventh consecutive postseason appearance and eighth in the past nine years. .

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For Minnesota, the Twins are trying to break the stigma of playoff failure. They have ended an 18-game losing streak in the playoffs and a streak of nine consecutive series failures. Additionally, head coach Rocco Baldelli’s team hopes to prove that their berth into the 2023 postseason is not a default — they earned a ticket by winning the American League Central Division, baseball’s premier division this season. The weakest division in the world statistically. They are also seeking their fourth world championship in franchise history and first in 32 years.

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Verlander faces Bailey Ober in Saturday’s ALDS opener.

The pitcher for Game 2 has been announced, with Houston’s Franber Valdez facing Minnesota’s Pablo Lopez on Sunday.

Twins’ Sonny Gray, who advanced Minnesota to the ALDS, will start Game 3 in Minneapolis. Houston’s starting lineup for the road game has not yet been announced, but Christian Javier will likely get the start.

Entering Saturday, fan chart Houston is favored to win the series at 56.4% to Minnesota’s 43.6%, but you can expect those odds to expand or contract depending on how Game 1 unfolds.

By the way, the Twins beat the Astros 4-2 in the 2023 regular season series, but those games were in early April and late May, and the early games were without Jose Al It was done without Tuvey and long before Verlander rejoined the Astros. team.

2023 ALDS schedule and results, Houston leads 1-0

Carlos Correa (4) of the Minnesota Twins and Jeremy Pena of the Houston Astros meet in the outfield before a baseball game on Monday, May 29, 2023, in Houston.

AP Photo/David J. Philip

  • Game 1: Houston 6, Minnesota 4
  • Game 2: Minnesota at Houston, Sunday, Oct. 8, 7 p.m.
  • Game 3: Houston, Minnesota, Tuesday, October 10, 3 p.m.
  • Game 4: Houston, MN, Wednesday, October 11, 1:07 pm*
  • Game 5: Minnesota at Houston, Friday, October 13, 3:07 p.m.*+

All times are Central Time.

* – if necessary

+ – If there is only one ALDS Game 5 left on Friday, October 13, the game will be played at 7:03 p.m.

More Astros stories during the 2023 postseason

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