Alvarez (knee) entered Sunday's game as a pinch hitter and struck out in Houston's 4-3 loss San Diego.

Alvarez, who left Saturday's game after fouling a ball off his knee, was improved enough to hit, but he likely would have been removed for a pinch runner had he reached base. It's unclear if the Astros are comfortable using him at designated hitter for multiple at-bats, thereby exposing the knee to the rigors of baserunning.

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