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Yordan Alvarez homers, drives in 2 as Astros beat White Sox 5-3

CHICAGO (AP) — Yordan Alvarez homered in the first inning and drove in a run during a four-run seventh as the Houston Astros rallied past the Chicago White Sox 5-3 on Thursday.

Alvarez made it 1-0 with a 439-foot drive to right against Chris Flexen for his 15th homer, and his single in the seventh tied the game at 3-all. The two-time All-Star finished with three hits after missing the previous two games for a family matter.

He arrived at the ballpark a little over two hours before the first pitch, just enough time to take 10 swings in the batting cage. Alvarez had no trouble locking in when he stepped to the plate, fouling off a fastball before connecting on a cutter.

“I feel like every single time that I miss a couple games, I come back and always hit a homer,” he said through an interpreter.

Alex Bregman added three hits and scored a run for the Astros, who won their second straight after dropping the opener of a three-game series against the team with the worst record in the majors.

Flexen worked six innings, allowing one run and five hits. The White Sox fell to 20-56 with their 26th loss in 32 games.

Chicago chased Astros starter Spencer Arrighetti in a three-run fifth.

Martín Maldonado led off with a single on a pop fly that deflected off second baseman Jose Altuve’s glove and came around on a one-out double by Luis Robert Jr. Andrew Vaughn knocked Arrighetti out of the game with an RBI single, and Andrew Benintendi made it 3-1 with a sacrifice fly against Tayler Scott.

Houston sent 10 batters to the plate in the seventh.

Mauricio Dubón led off with a double against Steven Wilson (1-4) that extended his hitting streak to 13 games and scored on Altuve’s single. Alvarez grounded an RBI single past a diving second baseman Danny Mendick against Tanner Banks. The Astros took a 4-3 lead when third baseman Lenyn Sosa threw low to first after fielding a chopper by pinch-hitter Cooper Hummel with two out, allowing Bregman to score.

Justin Anderson came in for Chicago and walked Jake Meyers and Jeremy Peña to force in another run, making it 5-3.

“A big part of what we talk about is we don’t let small innings turn into big innings like we did in the seventh,” White Sox manager Pedro Grifol said. “We played good baseball and the seventh inning got away from us. A three-run lead and we gave it up. Couldn’t get back into it.”

Arrighetti was charged with three runs and five hits in 4 1/3 innings. Four relievers combined to hold the White Sox to one hit, with Scott (3-2) recording five outs and Josh Hader working the ninth for his 11th save in 12 chances.

“Big (five) outs,” manager Joe Espada said. “Big moment of the game. We wanted to keep it close. (Scott) came in and he did that. He's been really good for us.”

TRAINER'S ROOM

White Sox: RHP Mike Clevinger (right elbow inflammation) is expected to throw 70 to 75 pitches in a rehab start on Sunday. He threw 55 for Triple-A Charlotte on Tuesday. ... DH Eloy Jiménez (strained left hamstring) could return next week, though Grifol said he is “not real sure” which day.

UP NEXT

Astros: The Astros plan to call up RHP Jake Bloss from Double-A Corpus Christi to make his major league debut against the Baltimore Orioles on Friday and fill a hole in their injury-depleted rotation. Bloss, a third-round draft pick out of Georgetown in 2023, has a 1.74 ERA over 12 starts in Class A and Double-A. RHP Grayson Rodriguez (8-2, 3.20 ERA) pitches for Baltimore.

White Sox: RHP Erick Fedde (5-1, 3.09) looks to win his second straight start as the White Sox open a three-game series at Detroit. RHP Jack Flaherty (4-4, 3.01) gets the ball for the Tigers.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

Andrew Seligman, The Associated Press