• Brian L. Barefield

Astros rookies lead them to a victory over the Blue Jays 7 -2

Houston – Behind a strong performance from two rising stars from the Astros farm system. The Houston Astros defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 7 -2 in front of a home crowd of 38,012 on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. With that win the Astros are 48-23, which gives them their best 71-game start in franchise history.

Pitcher Framber Valdez gained his third win of the season after pitching six innings giving up only two earned runs while setting a new season-high with eight strikeouts. After 14 appearances out of the bullpen this year, Valdez has been brilliant in his last two starts for the Astros. He has only given up three runs in his last 13 innings pitched while striking out 15 batters.

Blue Jays starter Clayton Richards was not as successful as Valdez only lasting five innings after giving up five innings on seven hits. It was the second consecutive bad start for the left-hand pitcher who gave up seven runs in his last start against the Arizona Diamondbacks. The loss today drops his record to 0-3 on the season.

Second baseman Jack Mayfield who is filling in for injured All-Star 2B Jose Altuve, finally broke out of his 2-for-34 slump with a record tying day. He has his first-career multi-hit game with three doubles to tie a franchise record for doubles in a single game by a rookie. That feat was last accomplished by former Astros Terry Puhl (1977) and Norm Miller (1967). He became the only second baseman in Astros history with three doubles and three runs in a single game.

“Once I got that first hit it relieved some of the pressure,” said Mayfield who also tied a club record for doubles in a single game by a second baseman. “I just give credit to this team. Hitting is contagious and this team is hitting like crazy.”

It isn’t often that Astros skipper A.J. Hinch is at a loss for words when describing the lethal hitters, he has on his team. With All-Stars such as Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa, AL MVP Jose Altuve, and a World Series MVP in George Springer. It isn’t much that Hinch hasn’t seen at the plate. Well that was until rookie Yordan Alvarez got called up five games ago.

“I am probably having a hard time describing him about as hard of a time you are about writing about him,” said Hinch. “It has been very impressive to watch him go methodically about his business as a much more experienced layer as he is.”

Astros rookie sensation Yordan Alvarez

Yordan Alvarez is not only setting the Houston fan base on fire. He is also blazing through the Astros franchise history. Alvarez became the first player to score a run in each of his first five games in the Major Leagues since teammate Aledmys Diaz’ did it in St. Louis in 2016. His 439-foot home run in the bottom of the third inning put Houston up by three runs and they never looked back on their way to their 48th victory.

The Astros have one last game in Minute Maid Park on Sunday against the Blue Jays before they head out on the road to take on the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees.

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