Alvarez has been working out at first base, Chandler Rome of the Houston Chronicle reports. Houston manager Dusty Baker said Alvarez "is not yet ready" to start a game there, but if he could provide competent defense there, it would improve the manager's ability to manage the roster. The Astros are currently missing Yuli Gurriel (neck), which leaves them a player short. Additionally, the team could use Alvarez at first base in National League cities.
Alvarez went 1-for-4 with a two-run home run in Tuesday's win over the Dodgers. Alvarez blasted his 20th long ball of the season in the eighth inning, taking reliever Victor Gonzalez deep for his third homer over his last nine games. That span has been a highly productive one for Alvarez, as he's also compiled eight RBI, seven runs and a .961 OPS across the 36 plate appearances he's logged during it.
Alvarez entered Sunday's game after Michael Brantley twisted his ankle in the third inning of a 5-3 loss to the Giants. He went 1-for-2 with a double and a run scored. Alvarez was held out of the starting lineup the last two days while Houston played in a National League ballpark, but that practice might change given the injury to Brantley, who is day-to-day. With games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday, Alvarez may be needed for left field if manager Dusty Baker is comfortable using him in the field two consecutive days.
Alvarez is out of the lineup for Sunday's game against the Giants, Justice delos Santos of MLB.com reports. Alvarez started in left field in the series opener Friday in San Francisco and went 0-for-4 with a walk, but he'll be on the bench for the second day in a row as the Astros make defense more of a priority in the corner-outfield spots. After Sunday's series finale, Houston will play games in Los Angeles against the Dodgers on Tuesday and Wednesday. Alvarez could be in store for another off day or two with no designated hitter available in the National League park.
Alvarez went 3-for-5 with a three-run home run and an additional run in an 8-6 win against the Mariners on Tuesday. Alvarez connected on a 423-foot homer to right in the first to open the game's scoring, singled and scored in the fifth and singled in the sixth for his first three-hit game since June 18. The designated hitter has been hot of late, going 6-for-14 with three walks over his last four games.
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