January 30, 2023

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Álvarez clubs first homers since April in 4-hit night

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Baseball’s No. 7 overall prospect is known for his raw power; with a grade of 65, it’s his best tool. But after clubbing four dingers in his first six games of the season, the 20-year-old didn’t go deep for over a month. 

That changed emphatically on Thursday night.

The backstop was poised to have a good night when he laced his 10th double of the year on the second pitch he saw in the bottom of the first. He immediately came around to score on a Ronny Mauricio single for the first of his three runs scored, tying his career high.

In his next trip to the plate, Álvarez got hold of a letter-high 1-0 pitch from Reading lefty Ethan Evanko and watched it fly over the left-field fence for his first dinger since April 17. The righty slugger faced Evanko again two frames later and muscled a 1-1 pitch on the outside part of the plate out to center for his second long ball and second RBI of the game.

It’s the third multihomer game of Álvarez’s career and his first since July 31 of last year.

He added a single in the eighth and a walk in the ninth to complete the second four-hit game of his career — his first came on Opening Day of last year when he collected three singles and a double. He raised his average 22 points, from .239 to .261, and now owns a team-best .808 OPS among qualified players.

Álvarez cooled off after a hot two weeks to begin the 2022 campaign, but he’s picked up the pace lately with a .317/.356/.512 slash line with 21 total bases over his last 10 games.

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