Yordan Álvarez broke the hearts of Seattle Mariners fans for the second consecutive game in the American League Division Series to give the Houston Astros a commanding 2-0 series lead.
Two days after his walk-off three-run homer in the bottom of the ninth inning, Álvarez propelled the Astros to a 4-2 win in Game 2 with a go-ahead two-run blast off Luis Castillo in the bottom of the sixth.
It was apparent throughout the entire regular season that Álvarez was an elite hitter, but the 25-year-old is putting himself on a different level with his showing so far in this postseason.
Jeff Passan @JeffPassan
Before today, nobody in baseball history had hit more than one go-ahead homer while trailing in the sixth inning or later of a postseason game, per <a href="https://twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@ESPNStatsInfo</a>. Now, Yordan Álvarez has done it twice in two games. <br><br>Very simply, he's the one of the best hitters on the planet.
Álvarez was the best hitter in the AL after Aaron Judge during the regular season. He ranked second to the New York Yankees star in on-base percentage (.406) and slugging percentage (.613).
🔪 c h o p p a h 🔪 @iamchoppah
Never pitch to Yordan in the playoffs when the game is on the line!! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Astros?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Astros</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Playoffs?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#Playoffs</a> <a href="https://t.co/8qILYLf64b">pic.twitter.com/8qILYLf64b</a>
The Mariners did a good job containing Álvarez in Game 2 before the homer. He grounded out and flew out in his first two plate appearances.
Manager Scott Servais seemed to take a lesson from the two homers by intentionally walking Álvarez in his final plate appearance of the game in the bottom of the eighth.
Both starting pitchers were excellent in Game 2. Castillo, making his first appearance since tossing 7.1 shutout innings in the AL Wild Card Series, allowed three runs on five hits with seven strikeouts over seven innings.
Framber Valdez fought through some control issues with three walks, but he allowed two runs (one earned) with six strikeouts in 5.2 innings.
The series will shift to Seattle for the first playoff game at T-Mobile Park since Oct. 18, 2001. Houston will start Lance McCullers Jr. with an opportunity to sweep and advance to the ALCS for the sixth consecutive year.
Rookie George Kirby will make his first start of the playoffs. He got the save in the Mariners' 10-9 win over the Toronto Blue Jays in Game 2 of the Wild Card Series.
Game 3 between the Astros and Mariners will take place on Saturday at 4:07 p.m. ET.