• Brian L. Barefield

Astros Welcome Back Two Key Players As They Defeat The Washington Nationals

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

The Astros got a familiar face back in the lineup on Sunday as they defeat the Washington Nationals 5-0. Manager Dusty Baker got a glimpse of what his potential 2021 regular season lineup will look like in a 5-0 victory over the Washington Nationals on Sunday. Although they were without the services of third baseman Alex Bregman who is still nursing a hamstring injury, Baker had what some would predict as the starting lineup for the Astros.

One player the Astros was eager to have stepping up to the plate was former 2019 American League Rookie of The Year, Yordan Alvarez. He had been out of the lineup since last season after playing in only two games of a 60-game season. After sitting out the “Summer Camp 2020” and the beginning of the season due to COVID-19 related issues, Alvarez rejoined the team, but was put on IR for the remainder of the season to have surgeries on both knees.

“I feel really good. Thank God I feel really good,” said Alvarez when asked about returning to action after such a long layoff away from the game. “To be honest it is not even a part of my thought process. I am not thinking about my injury. That’s in the past and I have recuperated fully. I felt really comfortable in the box. It had been a long time since I had been in a regular season game. Being comfortable is a really important thing to me.”

Starting pitcher Lance McCullers Jr. (2-0) had a very strong outing pitching four scoreless innings while striking out six and only allowing three hits to the Nationals.

“I felt like I had a good mix (pitches) rolling today,” McCullers said when asked about his performance. “I feel like I formulated some pretty good plans and executed them more to like a regular season start.”

Starting shortstop Carlos Correa and first baseman Yuli Gurriel both hit homeruns in the game and the Astros pitchers that struck out 13 Nationals batters and held them to just six hits.

Photo Credit/Houston Astros

Houston also got an opportunity to see how RHP Cristian Javier would bounce back since being quarantined following Major League Baseball’s Health and Safety protocols involving COVID-19. He pitched one scoreless inning allowing only one walk.

The Astros will be back in action on Monday against the Miami Marlins. The first pitch will be 12:05 CST.

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