Alvarez lifts Astros over Braves in matchup of last 2 champs

Royals beat slumping Astros 6-5

ATLANTA (AP) — Yordan Alvarez hit a tiebreaking, two-run home run with two outs in the ninth inning, and the Houston Astros rallied from a three-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 6-4 on Friday night in a matchup of the last two World Series champions.

With the score 4-4, Alvarez pulled a cutter to right-center for his fifth home run this season. Braves closer A.J. Minter (0-1) gave up his first home run this season.

Hector Neris (1-1) earned the win with a perfect eighth inning for the 2022 champions. Ryan Pressley pitched around a one-out walk in the ninth for his first save, striking out Ronald Acuña Jr. with a man on and retiring Matt Olson on a game-ending groundout.

Houston erased a 4-1 deficit in the seventh against Jesse Chavez, who had not allowed a run in 10 appearances this season. Yanier Diaz hit an RBI double and scored on Jake Meyers’ single, and Mauriciio Dubón followed with a run-scoring double.

Braves catcher Sean Murphy threw out Corey Julks trying to steal third for the final out of the eighth inning. Kevin Pillar made a diving backhand catch in left to rob Alex Bregman with with a runner on first base in the ninth.

Bregman and Jake Meyers both went 2 for 4 with an RBI for the Astros.

Atlanta’s Bryce Elder outpitched Hunter Brown and lowered his ERA to 1.14 , holding Houston to an unearned run over six innings while striking out six.

Brown had not given up and earned run in 14 innings entering Friday, but gave up four in the first as he labored through a 29-pitch inning.

Ozzie Albies had a two-out, two-run double, and Austin Riley and Vaughn Grissom also drove in runs. Acuña doubled twice, including one leading off the first.


Braves RHP Kyle Wright (0-0, 6.23 ERA) is scheduled to make his third start of the season and faced LHP Framber Valdez (1-2, 1.80) in the middle game of the series on Saturday night.

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