After dropping the Friday night game against the Cleveland Guardians in extra innings, the Houston Astros, led by José Abreu’s home run and RBI single took the middle game of the three game set to a final score of 6-4.
José Abreu, who signed with the Houston Astros to a three year, $58.5M deal got off to a horrid start in 2023, but in the month of June, Abreu is finally starting to have success. On Saturday night, we saw the prime Jose Abreu on full display with a two for five night.
Abreu wasted no time getting it going as he hit a first inning homer that put the Astros on top 1-0. The ball left the bat a 109.0 MPH and went 421 feet into the air, but was only a home run in 28 out of the 30 major league ballparks. This was Abreu’s third homer of the season and was what got the hot offensive day for the Astros going.
Jose Abreu has found his home run swing 💥
He has gone yard in back-to-back games!
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) June 10, 2023
With the Astros up 5-3 in the ninth inning, Abreu wanted to make sure that Cleveland had no shot at retaking a lead, so on a 0-1 count, Abreu hit an RBI single which drove in Mauricio Dubon and extened the Astros lead, 6-3. Cleveland would go on to tack on another run, but the Astros closed it out.
— Javier Gonzalez (@Astros_Coverage) June 11, 2023
After such a slow start, Abreu hit home runs in back-to-back games and scored 50% of the Astros six runs. With the absence of slugger Yordan Alvarez, Houston will need Abreu to continue at the current pace that he is and provide some power in the Houston lineup.
This season, Abreu ranks in the 77th percentile of Max Exit Velocity and in the 33rd percentile of Average Exit Velocity which isn’t too encouraging, but if Abreu can become more of a run producer, then making up for Alvarez’s time on the IL shouldn’t be an issue as Abreu has shown in years prior that the Cuban can be a staple in the lineup and drive in runs. Funny enough, Abreu led the game in top exit velocity and distance, so maybe the Cuban is finally showing signs of his former self, which would be a huge benefit for Houston.
Despite giving up three earned runs, Astros starter JP France struck out six and gave Houston length as he went six and two thirds innings. Thankfully, the Asrtros bullpen locked down the pesky Guardians. Bryan Abreu struck out three in one and one third innings of work as Ryan Pressly gave up one run, but struck out one to win it.
With the win, the Astros move to 37-28, just five games back of the division leader Texas Rangers who have a 41-22 record in the highly competitive AL West. Houston now has a chance to take the series from the Guardians with pitcher Brandon Bielak on the mound, but Abreu and the Asrtros offensive will have to go up against Shane Bieber, the 2020 AL Cy Young Award winner.