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Astros are on the war path

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The Astros’ offense pounded the Mariners to the tune of 21 runs on Sunday afternoon. They’re the only team to have scored 20 runs in a game this season, and they’ve done it twice.

The offensive outburst continued on Monday night as the Astros opened up a four-game series against the Athletics, scoring six times in the first inning and five times in the second inning, batting around both times. They have six home runs, becoming the first team to homer six times in the first two innings of a game, per ESPN Stats & Info.

Yordan Álvarez hit two of those six homers. His second dinger of the night was one of the most impressive you’ll see, though Statcast only measured it at 426 feet. According to Astros authentication manager Mike Acosta, Álvarez is the second player and the first Astro to hit a home run into the upper deck in right field at Minute Maid Park.

Alex Bregman, Robinson Chirinos, José Altuve, and Michael Brantley have also homered. And they have Zack Greinke on the mound. The Astros getting hot in September is a scary sight to the rest of the game’s playoff contenders.

Indians to activate José Ramírez tomorrow

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Indians slugger José Ramírez broke the hamate bone on his right hand last month and had surgery on August 26 to repair it. At the time he was given the same schedule most hamate bone surgery recipients get: 5-7 weeks if all goes well. Apparently all has gone better-than-well for Ramírez, however, because the Indians are going to activate him tomorrow.

That’s good news for the Indians, who are in a dead heat with the Tampa Bay Rays for the AL’s second Wild Card with six games to go.

Ramírez, like his team, started the season slowly, but he had turned things on in July and August to help fuel Cleveland’s surge into playoff contention. He hit .320/.340/.680 with nine homers and 25 driven in in July and was hitting .321/.372/.705 with six homers and 20 driven in August when he went down. Basically, he had been a better version of the Ramírez who won the Silver Slugger Award and came in third in the MVP balloting in 2018, at least for those two months.

It’ll be interesting to see how rusty he is or if the surgery has sapped his power or bat speed. We’ll only have six games in which to see it, though.