Since 1908, only three players have collected four or more home runs within the first five games of their career: Mike Jacobs (2005), Yasiel Puig (2013), and most recently, Trevor Story (who improved that record with six home runs in 2016). On Saturday, Astros designated hitter and outfielder Yordan Álvarez became the fourth member of that exclusive club, belting a Clayton Richard slider out to the upper deck in right field and boosting the Astros to a 3-0 lead in the third.
Álvarez, 21, has been on a tear ever since his MLB debut with the club last Sunday. He collected two-run homers off of Dylan Bundy and Matt Albers during his first two career games, then went 3-for-4 with a pair of singles and another two-run home run in Friday’s series opener against the Blue Jays. He decorated his efforts on Saturday with two more singles in the fifth and seventh innings, though nothing ultimately came of either hit.
Following their 7-2 win over Toronto, the Astros improved to 48-23 on the season and kept their hold on the AL West with a 10-game lead over the second-place Rangers. They’ll go for the sweep on Sunday, when Brad Peacock is scheduled to go up against Trent Thornton for the finale at 2:10 PM EDT.
Red Sox left-hander Chris Sale has been placed on the 10-day injured list with left elbow inflammation, the club revealed Saturday. The assignment is retroactive to August 14. In a corresponding roster move, right-handed reliever Ryan Brasier was recalled from Triple-A Pawtucket.
It’s an alarming development for the 30-year-old ace, who has been remarkably injury-free after dealing with a lingering case of shoulder inflammation last summer. While he hasn’t replicated the career-high results he delivered over the last two seasons, he still leads Red Sox pitchers with 3.6 fWAR and will head to the IL with a 6-11 record in 25 starts, a 4.40 ERA, 2.3 BB/9, and league-best 13.3 SO/9 through 147 1/3 innings. A timetable has not been given for his return, nor has the severity of his injury been disclosed. Per Red Sox president Dave Dombrowski, Sale has been experiencing pain in his elbow since Wednesday and will undergo further evaluation in the days to come.
Brasier, 31, was optioned to Triple-A Pawtucket in mid-July after pitching to mixed results in the majors. He currently holds a 4.46 ERA, 2.7 BB/9, and 8.0 SO/9 with the Red Sox, though his results in Triple-A — one run, one walk, and 13 strikeouts over 9 1/3 innings — suggest that he might be capable of even sharper results when he rejoins the big league club.