Alvarez hits solo homer, slam as the Astros rout Brewers 12-2 for eighth straight win

World Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Houston Astros - Game Six
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MILWAUKEE – 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.

“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.

Jacob deGrom, oft-injured Rangers ace, to have season-ending right elbow surgery

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ARLINGTON, Texas — The Texas Rangers signed Jacob deGrom to a $185 million, five-year deal in free agency last winter hoping the two-time NL Cy Young Award winner could help them get back to the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and make a push toward winning a World Series.

They also knew the risks, with the pitcher coming off two injury-plagued seasons with the New York Mets.

Even with deGrom sidelined since late April, the AL West-leading Rangers are off to the best start in franchise history – but now will be without their prized acquisition until at least next year. The team said Tuesday that deGrom will have season-ending surgery next week to repair a torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

“We’ve got a special group here and to not be able to be out there and help them win, that stinks,” deGrom said, pausing several times with tears in his eyes. “Wanting to be out there and helping the team, it’s a disappointment.”

General manager Chris Young said Tuesday the decision on surgery came after an MRI on deGrom’s ailing right elbow, but the extent of what is required might not be determined until the operation is performed next week.

Tommy John surgery, in which the damaged ligament is replaced, is often needed to fix a torn UCL, but Young and the Rangers didn’t go as far as saying the pitcher would have that particular procedure. After being drafted by the New York Mets in 2010, deGrom made six starts in the minors that summer before needing Tommy John surgery and missing all of 2011, three years before his big league debut.

DeGrom last pitched April 28 against the New York Yankees, when he exited early because of injury concerns for the second time in a span of three starts. The announcement about surgery came a day after deGrom was transferred to the 60-day injured list.

Young said the latest MRI showed more inflammation and significant structural damage in the ligament that wasn’t there on the scan after deGrom left the game against the Yankees.

“The results of that MRI show that we have not made progress. And in fact, we’ve identified some damage to the ligament,” Young said. “It’s obviously a tough blow for Jacob, for certainly the Rangers. But we do feel this is what is right for Jacob in his career. We’re confident he’ll make a full recovery.”

Young and deGrom, who turns 35 later this month, said the goal is for the pitcher to return near the end of next season. Both said they were glad to have clarity on what was wrong with the elbow.

Texas won all six games started by deGrom (2-0), but the right-hander threw only 30 1/3 innings. He has a 2.67 ERA with 45 strikeouts and four walks. He threw 3 2/3 scoreless innings against the Yankees in his last start before leaving because of discomfort in his arm.

The Rangers went into Tuesday night’s game against St. Louis with a 39-20 record, the first time they were 19 games over .500 since the end of 2016, their last winning season.

Before going home to Florida over the weekend for the birth of his third child, deGrom threw his fifth bullpen last Wednesday in Detroit.

“I’d have days where I’d feel really good, days where I didn’t feel great. So I was kind of riding a roller coaster there for a little bit,” deGrom said. “They said originally there, we just saw some inflammation. … Getting an MRI right after you pitch, I feel like anybody would have inflammation. So, you know, I was hoping that that would get out of there and I would be fine. But it just didn’t work out that way.”

DeGrom spent his first nine big league seasons with the Mets, but was limited by injuries to 156 1/3 innings over 26 starts during his last two years in New York.

He had a career-low 1.08 ERA over 92 innings in 2021 before missing the final three months of the season with right forearm tightness and a sprained elbow.

The four-time All-Star didn’t make his first big league start last year until Aug. 2 after being shut down late in spring training because of a stress reaction in his right scapula.

His latest injury almost surely will trigger Texas’ conditional option on deGrom’s contract for 2028.

The option takes effect if deGrom has Tommy John surgery on his right elbow from 2023-26 or has any right elbow or shoulder injury that causes him to be on the IL for any period of 130 consecutive days during any season or 186 days in a row during any service period.

The conditional option would be for $20 million, $30 million or $37 million, depending on deGrom’s performance during the contract and health following the 2027 season.

“I feel bad for Jake. If I know Jake, he’ll have the surgery and come back and finish his career strong,” second-year Mets manager Buck Showalter said. “I know how much it means to him. He enjoys pitching. It’s certainly sad news for all of us.”