OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Yordan Álvarez might have been the only person unimpressed by his pair of tape-measure home runs.
Álvarez hit a pair of no-doubt homers, Framber Valdez pitched a two-hitter for a rare complete game and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Monday.
After being held to five runs the previous four games, the Astros bats woke up against Oakland ace Paul Blackburn (5-1).
Álvarez hit a 469-foot drive to give Houston its first run in the fourth against Blackburn and added a 444-foot shot to nearly the same spot in the eighth off A.J. Puk for his 14th homer of the season.
“I didn’t know how far that was but I know it was way up there,” manager Dusty Baker said. “I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a ball hit up there. It was very impressive. He hit the second one too so hopefully he’s getting hot.”
Álvarez said he believes he could hit it even farther than he did on his first shot and said he didn’t take the opportunity to admire it before running the bases.
“Sometimes I would like to do that, but I also have to step on the bases so I would rather do that,” he said through an interpreter.
Jose Altuve also went deep with a two-run homer in the fifth that was the 174th of his career, tied with George Springer for fifth most ever by a Houston player.
That was more than enough support for Valdez (5-2), who threw just the seventh nine-inning complete game in the majors this season. He struck out seven, walked three and threw 114 pitches in the longest outing in his five-year big league career. His only other complete game was a six-inning performance in a doubleheader last season.
“He wanted it and we didn’t think his health was in jeopardy,” Baker said. “So that’s why we sent him back out there,…