Jose Altuve, Yordan Alvarez Crush HRs In Game 1 Win Of Astros Against Twins ALDS 2023


The Houston Astros won Game 1 of the American League Division Series, 6-4, thanks in large part to Yordan Alvarez’s two home runs and Justin Verlander’s six innings of scoreless pitching.

Jose Altuve’s leadoff home run in the first inning, Alvarez’s two-run bomb in the third, and a pair of RBIs in the fifth all contributed to the Astros’ 5-0 advantage after six innings.

In the seventh inning, when the Twins scored four runs on back-to-back home run swings, Verlander was replaced by Hector Neris. Alvarez then returned a run with a home run to the right field foul pole in the bottom of the eighth.

In the final two and third innings, relief pitchers Bryan Abreu and Ryan Pressly entered to put out any hope of a Twins comeback.

Carlos Correa recorded two hits in the losing effort, including a double that caused him to take a longer route to second base. Prior to his trip back to Houston, the Twins shortstop was struggling with plantar fasciitis.

In Game 2 on Sunday at 7 p.m., Houston has the potential to grab a decisive 2-0 lead. Pablo Lopez, the star pitcher for Minnesota, will face Framber Valdez.

Yes, Correa has returned to Houston after leaving for the Minnesota Twins before the 2022 season. Despite only managing two hits in six games as a visitor at Minute Maid Park, Correa’s goals for playing in his old neighborhood are the same as those of his former teammates: win, keep winning, win a pennant, and then win a world championship.

So, there are a lot at risk. Houston in particular has a chance to make history. Manager Dusty Baker and his players believe they can end the 23-year drought without a Major League Baseball team repeating as World Series champions.

After all, the Astros will be participating in the postseason for the eighth time in the past nine years when Justin Verlander delivers the opening pitch at 3:45 p.m. at Minute Maid Park.

The Twins are attempting to eradicate the stigma associated with playoff failure in Minnesota. They’ve already broken a nine-series playoff losing drought and an 18-game playoff losing streak. Additionally, the team led by manager Rocco Baldelli hopes to show that winning the AL Central Division—the statistically weakest in baseball this season—earned them a spot in the postseason in 2023. Additionally, they are vying for their first title in 32 years and the fourth world championship in franchise history.

In the first game of the ALDS on Saturday, Verlander faced Bailey Ober.

The pitchers for Game 2 have already been announced; on Sunday, Houston’s Framber Valdez will face Minnesota’s Pablo Lopez.

Game 3 will be started in Minneapolis by Sonny Gray of the Twins, who pitched Minnesota into the ALDS. Although the starter for Houston’s away game has not yet been revealed, it is expected that Cristian Javier will get the start.

FanGraphs assigned Houston a 56.4% advantage over Minnesota for the series heading into Saturday, but depending on how Game 1 plays out, those odds may widen or narrow.

By the way, the Twins defeated the Astros 4-2, but those games took place in early April and late May, the earlier meetings occurring when Jose Altuve was out of the lineup and a long time before Justin Verlander returned to the team.