Tagged in: Jose Altuve

Altuve, Tucker homer to lead Astros over Athletics 4-3

Jose Altuve hit a three-run homer and Kyle Tucker’s tiebreaking solo shot in the seventh inning lifted the Houston Astros to a 4-3 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday night.

The triumph is Houston’s sixth consecutive and moves the team to a season-high 21 games above .500 at 54-33.

Altuve’s home run gave the Astros the lead in the third, but the A’s scored two in the sixth to tie it.

There was one out in the seventh when Tucker connected off Sean Manaea (6-6) on his home run to right-center to put Houston on top again.

Blake Taylor (2-2) wriggled out of a a jam in a scoreless seventh for the victory. Ryan Pressly pitched a perfect ninth to collect his 16th save and lower his ERA to 1.46.

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Matt Olson and Elvis Andrus had solo homers for the Athletics, who lost for the fifth time in six games.

Manaea permitted four hits and four runs — three earned — in 6 2/3 innings to extend his losing streak to a career-long four decisions.

Oakland had a chance to take the lead in the seventh after a pair of errors by Altuve and a wild pitch by Taylor left the Athletics with runners on second and third with no outs. But Taylor retired Andrus and Olson to end the threat.

Houston starter Luis Garcia permitted two hits and a run with seven strikeouts in five innings.

Cristian Javier replaced him to start the sixth and was greeted by the home run from Andrus, which bounced high off the wall above the seats in left field to cut the lead to 3-2.

There were two on and no outs when Jed Lowrie tied it on an RBI single to right field. The A’s tied it on a wild pitch by Javier.

Sean Murphy then hit a fly ball to left field which Michael Brantley caught before throwing home just in time for catcher Martín Maldonado to tag Ramon Laureano as he slid into him.

There were two outs in the first when Olson smacked his 21st homer of the season into the seats in right field to give the A’s an early lead.

Abraham Toro reached and advanced to second to start Houston’s third on an error by third baseman Chad Pinder before a single by Myles Straw.

Altuve hit his homer to left field with one out in the inning to put the Astros on top 3-1.

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Astros club 4 HRs, beat Orioles 13-0 for 10th straight win

José Altuve silenced the booing fans at Camden Yards with a two-run homer, José Urquidy pitched seven innings of three-hit ball and the Houston Astros stretched their winning streak to 10 matches by breezing past the Baltimore Orioles 13-0 Wednesday night.

Yordan Alvarez, Abraham Toro and Chas McCormick also homered for the Astros, who outscored the lowly Orioles 26-3 during a three-game sweep. Houston’s 10-game run is its longest since May 2019 and two short of the club record.

“To me, we’re doing what we’re capable of doing and I still think we’ve got a couple of guys who can get better,” Astros manage Dusty Baker said. “The guys are feeling good about themselves and that’s what you want.”

Altuve was greeted with jeers every time he stepped to the plate during the series, mostly because he was the Most Valuable Player during a 2017 campaign in which the Astros won the World Series but were later found to have been stealing signs.

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The Astros leadoff man has heard boos from opposing fans in almost every stadium this season, but Altuve has nevertheless hit 17 home runs, including a drive in the fourth inning off Thomas Eshelman (0-1) that made it 6-0.

“They spoiled some good pitches and put some good swings on some balls that were in the zone,” Eshelman said.

Alvarez and Toro connected in the seventh off knuckleballer Mickey Jannis and McCormick added a solo shot in the eighth.

Urquidy (6-3) didn’t need to be dominant on a night in which the Astros banged out 17 hits, but the right-hander nevertheless struck out six, walked one and permitted just one runner past second base. He’s won six of his last seven decisions and gone seven innings in three consecutive starts.

“He had outstanding control,” Baker said. “He always has control, but tonight he had command. He threw some quality strikes. He’s getting better and better each outing.”

Baltimore has lost 13 of 14 and Thursday will seek to snap a 19-game skid on the road in Buffalo versus the Toronto Blue Jays.

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Jose Altuve grazed by pitch, Astros booed in first away game of spring

Jose Altuve said he tuned out the hecklers. He couldn’t evade a pitch that grazed him.

“He was hit in the foot. That ain’t nothing, you know what I mean?” Astros manager Dusty Baker said Monday after an 11-1 win over Detroit at half-empty Joker Marchant Stadium. “It wasn’t intentional.”

Altuve was loudly booed when he was introduced for his spring training debut, cheered when he struck out and called a cheater by several fans. Quite a difference from past years, when the diminutive All-Star second baseman was among the most popular players in the majors.

But that was before Altuve and his Houston teammates were involved in the sign-stealing scandal that’s rocked baseball. “We just heard a lot of noise, and that’s it,” Altuve said.

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Altuve and fellow starters Alex Bregman, Carlos Correa and Yuli Gurriel all played for the first time in the exhibition season.

After Houston opened the Grapefruit League in the stadium it shares with the World Series champion Nationals, this was the first time the Astros were away from their complex — providing a taste of the reaction they might receive on the road this year.

“We were focused on playing baseball. We know that we need to go on the field and get ready and prepared for the coming season,” Altuve said. “That’s what we’re thinking about right now.”

Detroit’s starting pitcher Matthew Boyd, who fanned Altuve in the first inning, said it wasn’t difficult to block out the booing and heckling and remained focused on playing the game.

“It’s spring training. Honestly, let’s let it die. What’s done is done. I know how everybody feels, but no one is going to change anything now,” Boyd said.

“The punishment’s been handed out, the line’s been drawn in the sand. Hopefully that shuts it down, and it’s just best for everyone to move forward. They’ve got to live with it. That’s more than enough punishment.”

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