Jose Altuve's second home run of the game, a sixth-inning grand slam, broke open a tight affair and sent the visiting Houston Astros to a 9-6 victory over the San Francisco Giants on Friday night.
The contest was the opener of a three-game interleague series between division leaders.
The lossput a damper on what had been an exciting day for the National League West-leading Giants, who beat the afternoon trade deadline to acquire slugging infielder/outfielder Kris Bryant from the Chicago Cubs for two minor-leaguers.
Bryant is expected to join the Giants on Saturday for their afternoon rematch with the Astros, the top team in the American League West.
After having singled and scored in a two-run first inning and then broken a 2-2 tie with a leadoff homer in the fifth, Altuve came up in the sixth with Houston ahead 3-2. The bases were loaded with one out after an error, a single by Martin Maldonado and a walk to pinch hitter Robel Garcia.
Altuve, the first batter to face reliever Jay Jackson, teed off on a 2-2 pitch for his third grand slam of the season, giving Houston a five-run lead.
The grand slam was the sixth of Altuve's career. All three of his slams this season have come since June 15.
The two-homer game was his third of 2021 and increased his team-leading total to 25 for the season.
Altuve finished with three hits, three runs and five RBIs as the Astros won their third straight.
Aledmys Diaz homered, singled and scored twice, Michael Brantley had three hits and Yuli Gurriel added two for Houston.
Coming off an emotional 2-1 series win over the rival Los Angeles Dodgers, the Giants rallied within 7-5 with a two-run seventh and put the potential tying run on the bases with two outs. However, new Houston reliever Kendall Graveman, acquired from the Seattle Mariners in a trade on Wednesday, got Donovan Solano to ground out to preserve the lead.
The Astros tacked on with an RBI double by Carlos Correa in the eighth and Diaz's fourth homer of the season, a solo shot, in the ninth.
Darin Ruf hit an RBI single for the Giants in the last of the ninth.
Solano, Buster Posey, Mike Yastrzemski and Brandon Crawford all had a pair of hits for the Giants, who were out-hit 13-11.
Framber Valdez (7-2), for whom Garcia was pinch-hitting in the sixth, was credited with the win after allowing two runs and four hits in five innings. He walked three and struck out six.
Kevin Gausman (9-5) couldn't finish the fifth inning for his third straight start and took the loss. He was charged with three runs on six hits and two walks in 4 1/3 innings. Gausman fanned nine.
--Field Level Media