Alvarez hits 2 homers and Astros snap a 5-game losing streak with a 12-4 win over Rockies in Mexico


MEXICO CITY — Before the first of two games in Mexico City, Houston Astros manager Joe Espada said he hoped that the trip could help them solve their offensive struggles.

Apparently, it worked.

Yordan Alvarez hit two home runs, Kyle Tucker added a solo shot and the Houston Astros beat the Colorado Rockies 12-4 on Saturday night in the MLB World Tour: Mexico City Series to snap a five-game losing streak.

Alvarez hit a two-run homer to center field and Tucker followed with a shot to left field and the Astros took a 4-2 lead in the third. Alvarez hit his seventh home run of the season in the ninth inning.

“Today we were able to bat with runners in scoring positions, that’s a good sign for the team,” Espada said. “We took strong turns and we were able to spread the ball on the field, that really helped us today.”

Alvarez went 3 for 5 with three RBIs and two runs scored and Yainer Diaz had three hits and scored three runs.

“When we saw the introductions, we knew that it was a moment to think that the season was just beginning for us,” Alvarez said. “We knew that we were struggling, but we trust in the team’s talent.”

Ronel Blanco (3-0) allowed two hits and five runs in 5 2/3 innings. He struck out eight and walked two.

The Rockies’ Cal Quantrill (0-3) allowed six hits and six earned runs in five innings.

“We have not played to our standards, but hopefully we get there,” said Rockies manager Bud Black. “For me, all was positive (from the game in Mexico) except for the outcome.”

Houston arrived in Mexico City after scoring just six runs in a three-game sweep at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, but the team took advantage of the 7,349-foot (2,240-meter) elevation of the Alfredo Harp Helú stadium to break the offensive slump with 15 hits against the Rockies.

The Astros also benefited from the support of the crowd, most of them wearing the team’s colors even though the Rockies were the home team.

“We did not feel like the visiting team, we felt at home. There was a tremendous passion and energy in the stadium, and it really felt like home,” Espada said.

The Rockies took the lead on Ryan McMahon’s two-run homer to center field in the first.

The Astros pulled ahead for good after Alvarez and Tucker hit their homers in the third.

The series marks the Astros’ second regular-season visit to Mexico. In May 2019, they swept the Angels in two games played in Monterrey. The Astros also played exhibition games in Mexico against the Padres in 2016 and Marlins in 2004.

The Rockies, who came south of the border after beating the Padres 10-9 at Coors Field, have yet to win consecutive games this season, the longest such stretch to begin a season in franchise history.

Colorado played their second regular-season game in Mexico. In 1999, they beat San Diego in their season opener, also at Monterrey.

URQUIDY MISSES THE CHANCE

José Urquidy played with the Astros in a exhibition game against the San Diego Padres in Mexico City in 2016, but a right arm injury left him out of the series against the Colorado Rockies.

“Back then (2016) I was a kid just dreaming of playing in the majors. It was a long process for me to become a starter in the MLB, but I made it,” said Urquidy, who despite not being able to play was joined by family and friends.

The right-hander, who was born in Mazatlan, invited some of his closest friends, some of whom lack visas to enter the United States and have never seen a major league game.

“Even though I’m not playing, I’m happy for them to be able to watch a major league game live. We had a day off (Friday) and they get to know some of my teammates. I’m happy for them,” Urquidy said.

The 28-year-old Urquidy said that he threw a bullpen session in Mexico City and feels close to a return to the rotation.

UP NEXT

Astros LHP Framber Valdez (0-0, 2.19 ERA) is scheduled to start Sunday night against Rockies LHP Austin Gomber (0-1, 4.32) in the second game in Mexico City.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb



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