MILWAUKEE (AP) — Yordan Alvarez was feeling more comfortable than usual, which created plenty of discomfort for the Milwaukee Brewers.
Alvarez had a grand slam among his two homers as the Houston Astros pounded the Brewers 12-2 on Monday night for their eighth consecutive victory. Alvarez hit a solo shot off Corbin Burnes in the fifth inning and capped a five-run outburst in the sixth with a basesloaded blast against Hoby Milner.
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“I just felt very comfortable at the batter’s box today,” Alvarez said through an interpreter. “I think when I get to the stadium and I feel comfortable at the batter’s box, I think good things can happen. I was seeing the ball really well.”
The game marked the third time in his career that Alvarez homered in back-to-back innings. He has 12 homers this season. Over his last four games, Alvarez has gone 7 of 15 with three homers and seven RBIs.
“The big fella, he can just hit,” Astros manager Dusty Baker said. “He can really hit. He’s one of the best hitters in this game and one of the best that I’ve seen."
Corey Julks, Martín Maldonado and Mauricio Dubón also went deep against Burnes (4-4) to help the Astros post season highs in runs, hits (15) and homers (five). Alvarez went 3 for 4 with five RBIs, and Julks was 3 of 5 with three RBIs.
Burnes allowed four homers in a game for the first time in his career. The 2021 Cy Young Award winner hadn’t given up three homers in a start since 2019.
“For the most part, we threw the ball pretty well,” Burnes said. “We made mistakes to good hitters, and good hitters hit the ball out of the ballpark.”
Astros starter Cristian Javier (4-1) struck out five and allowed four hits, one run and one walk in six innings. Javier has worked 25 innings and yielded seven runs over his last four starts.
Julks and Maldonado went deep in the second inning as the Astros took a two-run lead. Julks lined a 2-1 sinker over the wall in left-center for a 401-foot blast. Maldonado ripped a 411-foot drive into the left-field seats on a 2-1 cutter.
Milwaukee cut the lead to 2-1 on Rowdy Tellez’s leadoff homer in the bottom of the second, but a brilliant play by center fielder Jake Meyers prevented the Brewers from tying the game. The Brewers had a runner on first with two out when Owen Miller ripped a shot to deep center field. Meyers stretched out his right arm to make the catch as his shoulder banged into the wall.
“It was tremendous,” Javier said through an interpreter while discussing Meyers’ catch. “Obviously it’s big for me. I can go as far as saying that was the key to the game, keeping it there at 2-1.”
The Astros eventually broke the game open.
Dubón led off the fifth with a 409-foot drive to left-center on a 1-0 slider. Two batters later, Alvarez sent a 1-0 cutter over the wall in right-center, a 425-foot shot.
Once Burnes departed, Houston feasted on Milwaukee’s bullpen.
Elvis Peguero replaced Burnes and allowed four runs in one-third of an inning. After the Astros loaded the bases against Peguero, Alvarez sent Milner’s first pitch over the wall in left-center.
With the game out of hand, Brewers infielder Mike Brosseau pitched a scoreless ninth.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve wasn’t in the lineup two nights after making his 2023 debut. The eight-time All-Star had missed the Astros’ first 43 games of the season due to a fractured right thumb. “It’s still spring training for him,” Baker said before the game. “We’ve got to take care of his legs and everything else.” ... LHP Parker Mushinski was activated from the 10-day injured list. The Astros optioned LHP Matt Gage to Triple-A Sugar Land.
Brewers: LHP Eric Lauer went on the 15-day injured list with impingement to his right shoulder. The Brewers already had starting pitchers Brandon Woodruff, Wade Miley and Aaron Ashby on the injured list due to shoulder issues. The Brewers recalled RHP Tyson Miller from Triple-A Nashville. ... IF Luis Urías is expected to begin a rehabilitation assignment Tuesday or Wednesday with Nashville. Urías injured his hamstring in the season opener and hasn’t played since.
RHP J.P. France (1-0, 4.11 ERA) starts for the Astros and RHP Colin Rea (0-3, 5.52) pitches for the Brewers as the three-game series continues Tuesday night.