Royce Lewis’ historic home run was not enough to prevent Dusty Baker’s Astros from completing phase one of their quest to become the first team to win back-to-back World Series titles since the 1998-2000 Yankees.
Last season Dusty Baker stood atop Major League Baseball’s Mountain after finally obtaining the first World Series win of his career as a player or manager when they downed the Philadelphia Phillies in six games.
This year the American League West champions started the ALDS with a bang.
On the first pitch, Twins starting pitcher Joe Ryan threw, former MVP — AKA the most hated man in baseball — Jose Altuve smashed a homer to deep left field to give Houston an early lead that they would not relinquish.
“There are some guys over there that played with Altuve and I am sure they told him what he is capable of,” Baker told reporters after the game.
“He got the fans into it. There was a lot of electricity in the building and that home run caught things on fire.”
That gives Altuve 24 career postseason home runs which trails only Manny Ramirez for the most All-Time.
The Astros would jump out to a 5-0 lead before Minnesota would rally to make it close late.
They scored four consecutive runs, capped off by back-to-back homers in the top of the 7th inning by Jorge Polanco and Royce Lewis to get them within one.
Royce Lewis Continues To Smash Power Records
With that long ball, Lewis became the first rookie in Major League history to homer in his first three career playoff games and moved himself to fourth on the Twins All-Time postseason home run list.
However, Game 1 MVP Yordan Alverez outshined Lewis with two home runs on the day, the second of which came on a line drive off of the right field foul pole in the bottom of the 7th to give Dusty’s gang a bit of cushion heading into the final innings.
Ryan Pressley would come in the game to close the door on Baker’s 53rd career postseason win.
He will look to make it 53 Sunday night at 7PM in a critical Game 2 of this best-of-five series.