Gurriel went 1-for-3 with a solo home run and a walk in Wednesday's 14-7 loss to the Diamondbacks. Gurriel went yard in the eighth inning off Diamondbacks reliever Hector Rondon, but it was too little and too late to help the Astros turn things around. Gurriel has hit safely in six straight games, going 9-for-26 with two RBI and five runs scored in that span. The 36-year-old is hitting .286 with two homers, four RBI and eight runs scored across 51 plate appearances.
Gurriel went 1-for-2 with a solo home run and a walk and was also hit by a pitch in Saturday's 7-2 win over the Mariners. Gurriel's solo shot off Mariners starter Taijuan Walker started a four-run rally in the fourth inning. The first baseman has maintained a batting average of at least .290 in each of the last three years.
Gurriel went 0-for-3 in Friday's spring game against the Mets and is 2-for-17 (.118) through seven Grapefruit League appearances. Gurriel busted out with 31 home runs in 2019, as he improved his flyball, hard-hit and launch-angle rates. His .243 ISO last season stands out as an outlier, so he could return to normal in 2020, his age-36 season. He'll continue to be the primary first baseman with eligibility at third while playing in a hitter-friendly park for half the season.
Gurriel signed a one-year, $8.3 million contract with the Astros on Monday, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports. Gurriel's previous contract ran through 2021, but he will now avoid arbitration and be eligible to enter free agency at the end of 2020. The 35-year-old had a career-high .884 OPS with 31 home runs and 104 RBI last season.
Gurriel isn't in the starting lineup for Thursday's game against the Angels, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. As anticipated, Gurriel will get the night off. Aledmys Diaz starts at first base and is set to bat fifth.
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