Altuve, Alvarez HR as Astros halt Yanks to end 7-game slide
By LARRY FLEISHER
NEW YORK (AP) - Jose Altuve hit a leadoff homer, rookie Yordan Alvarez connected again and the Houston Astros beat the streaking New York Yankees 9-4 Sunday to end a season-high seven-game skid.
New York had won eight straight but was stopped by ace Justin Verlander and a quartet of homers, including a grand slam from Tyler White.
DJ LeMahieu hit a three-run drive in the fifth, giving New York a home run in a franchise-record 26 consecutive games. The major league mark is 27, set by the 2002 Texas Rangers.
Altuve homered two pitches in, reaching the second deck in left field off J.A. Happ (7-4) as Houston snapped its first seven-game skid since 2015. White hit his first career slam in the fourth, and Alvarez reached the second deck in right field in the fifth with a two-run drive that knocked out Happ.
Alvarez has seven homers in 12 big league games since debuting this month.
Yuli Gurriel added a solo shot off Luis Cessa for Houston, which rebounded nicely from blowing a late lead Saturday.
Houston scored its other run on a single by Michael Brantley in the second that made it 2-0.
Verlander (10-3) became the third 10-game winner in the AL, allowing three runs and four hits over seven innings. He struck out nine, walked two and completed seven innings for the 11th time this year, the most in the majors.
Including two starts in the 2017 ALCS, the seven-time All-Star is 4-0 in six starts against the Yankees since joining the Astros.
Happ tied career worsts by allowing 11 hits and eight runs in four-plus innings to lose for the first time in seven decisions. Happ allowed eight runs for the fifth time in his career and 11 hits for the first time since June 13, 2012.
The Yankees held their 73rd annual Old-Timers' Day, and Hall of Fame closer Mariano Rivera was the star. He hit an inside-the-park home run, made a catch in center field and closed out the four-inning exhibition by retiring Luis Sojo via groundout. Rivera will be inducted in Cooperstown next month as baseball's first unanimous selection.
Astros: OF George Springer (strained left hamstring) had a hit and three walks for Double-A Corpus Christi on Saturday while playing center and right field. He was set to DH on Sunday and is expected to rejoin the big league team Tuesday.
Yankees: OF Cameron Maybin was placed on the injured list with a Grade 2 strain in his left calf, which is expected to sideline him for over a month and possibly longer. ... RHP Ben Heller, who is recovering from right elbow surgery, began a rehab assignment with Class A Tampa.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (6-5, 3.54 ERA) opposes Pirates RHP Trevor Williams (2-1, 4.12) in the opener of a three-game series in Houston on Tuesday.
Yankees: LHP CC Sabathia (4-4, 4.14 ERA) faces Blue Jays RHP Aaron Sanchez (3-9, 5.49 ERA) to start a three-game series. Sabathia pitched six innings of one-run ball Wednesday against Tampa Bay and picked up his 250th career win.
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