Yordan Alvarez and Jose Altuve slugged solo home runs, and Jeremy Pena singled in two runs as Dusty Baker earned his 2,000th managerial win in the Houston Astros’ 4-0 victory over the visiting Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.
Baker is the 12th manager in the majors to reach the plateau, and 10 of the previous 11 are in the Hall of Fame. Bruce Bochy, who has 2,003 wins, is not yet eligible. Baker improved to 2,000-1,745 overall and 137-109 in two-plus seasons with the Astros.
Alvarez snapped a scoreless tie with a solo homer in the fourth inning for a second consecutive night, this time taking Mariners right-hander Chris Flexen (1-4) out 435 feet to straightaway center field. Alvarez, who went 1-for-3 with two runs scored, has hit five homers over his last nine games. He has seven for the season.
Flexen limited the Astros to just that run while allowing two hits and three walks over five innings.
The game stayed 1-0 until the sixth. Alvarez drew a two-out walk, prompting the Mariners to replace left-hander Anthony Misiewicz with right-hander Diego Castillo. Yuli Gurriel followed with a single, and a walk to Kyle Tucker loaded the bases.
Pena followed by dumping a first-pitch sinker from Castillo into left field, his soft line drive plating Alvarez and Gurriel for a 3-0 lead. Pena, who smacked a two-run homer Monday, went 2-for-4.
Altuve tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with his second homer of the season, his first hit since his return from the 10-day injured list on Monday. It came against Seattle reliever Matthew Festa.
The run support proved ample for Astros right-hander Cristian Javier (2-0), who produced his second solid start since joining the rotation last week in Texas.
Javier faced just one batter over the minimum through three innings, and then in the fourth, he induced a double-play grounder from Seattle designated hitter Jesse Winker to erase Ty France, who led off the inning with a single.
Javier struck out three batters in the fifth around a hit batsman and a walk. He gave up a leadoff single in the sixth but struck out France swinging before leaving for reliever Blake Taylor.
In 5 1/3 innings, Javier allowed two hits and two walks while striking out four. He threw 87 pitches, 52 for strikes.
–Field Level Media