Alvarez hits 3-run HR vs Ray in 9th, Astros jolt M’s in ALDS

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Houston Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez (44) celebrates with teammates after his three-run, walkoff home run against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning in Game 1 of an American League Division Series baseball game in Houston,Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2022. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)

HOUSTON (AP) — Yordan Alvarez smashed a game-ending, three-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning off Robbie Ray, wrecking Seattle’s strategy of using a Cy Young Award winner in a rare relief role and vaulting the Houston Astros over the Mariners 8-7 in their playoff opener.

Trailing all game after a poor start by Justin Verlander, the AL West champion Astros overtook rookie star Julio Rodríguez and the wild-card Mariners at the end to begin their best-of-five Division Series.

The Astros came back

Houston was down 7-5 when rookie pinch-hitter David Hensley was hit by a pitch from Seattle closer Paul Sewald and Jeremy Peña singled with two outs. Mariners manager Scott Servais then made the bold move to bring in Ray.

Alvarez Astros ALDS

Alvarez homered on Ray’s second pitch.