On Monday night, the Astros picked up win number 81 at home over the Detroit Tigers 6-3. It was their second straight win against the Tigers of the four-game series and their third straight win after losing five in a row. They are now 45-15 at home, the best home record in baseball.
But, there were some moments on Monday that stood out.
Both Aaron Sanchez and Carlos Correa head to the IL.
It was expected that Correa, after his back tightened up on him Sunday, that he would go on the injured list, if for no other reason than to rest him and prevent the situation worsening like last year. But after only two-and-a-third innings, Sanchez was pulled with soreness in his pectoral muscle, according to manager A.J. Hinch, who noticed a decrease in the pitcher's velocity. Both Sanchez and Correa will head to the IL and be out a couple weeks, which may mean just one missed start for Sanchez.
Martin Maldonado homered.
Maldonado was brought back in a trade with the Cubs to be a solid, veteran backup catcher behind Robinson Chirinos. He remains one of the better defensive catchers, but no one expected him to contribute much on offense. On Monday, he drilled an absolute rocket to left field in the fifth inning. It helped pad the lead a bit and gave an pleasantly unexpected offensive moment of the game.
George Springer broke his own record with his tenth lead-off homer this season.
With his tenth leadoff homer this season, Springer continued to solidify himself as one of the best lead-off hitters in Astros history. This came in the bottom of the first after the Tigers homered in the top half of the inning. He was followed by a home run from Jose Altuve. Such great power at the top of the order makes an already deadly lineup even tougher.
Speaking of Altuve, he got his 150th three-hit game.
Michael Brantley may lead the league in multi-hit games, but Altuve is the master on this team. He has had some ups and downs since returning from an injury earlier in the season, but he appears to be on one of those streaks that guys like he get on from time to time. His 150th three-hit game, including that first inning homer, is just more evidence that the former MVP is in a serious groove at the plate right now.
The bullpen went six-and-two-thirds scoreless innings.
After Sanchez had to come out, the bullpen gave up no runs and only six hits across six-and-two-thirds innings. Brad Peacock, just returning from a stint on the IL, was sharp, as was Colin McHugh. And Roberto Osuna, after a few shaky outings, seems to have righted the ship. If the Astros bullpen can clean up some of the miscues that have affected them the last month or so, this team is going to be even tougher to beat than they are already.
Yourdan Alvarez had four walks.
We've seen just about everything from the rookie phenom, but on Monday it was something entirely new. Alvarez, who was routinely walked in the minor leagues, has seen a few intentional walks already in the majors, but that combined with his uncanny knowledge of the strike zone has been pretty remarkable for a youngster. On Monday, he was walked four straight times, the youngest hitter to do that since Barry Bonds in 1986. He's already being pitched around and he hasn't even spent a full season in the big leagues.