HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610) -- Yordan Alvarez was back in the Astros’ lineup Friday night -- and picked up right where he left off in 2019.
Alvarez, last year’s unanimous American League Rookie of the Year, swatted a home run in his first at-bat of the season. He had been absent from the team since they returned for summer camp in July.
The left-handed-hitting Alvarez lifted a three-run bomb to left field off Seattle starter Nestor Cortes, a lefty, as part of a nine-run Houston first inning. The Astros went on to an easy 11-1 win at home.
Alvarez tested positive for COVID-19 just two days before the Astros started summer camp, and said he experienced some headaches as a symptom of the virus.
Alvarez’s wife also tested positive, though she was asymptomatic. Alvarez’s daughter did not test positive for the virus.
This forced the Astros (9-10) to keep Alvarez off the Opening Day roster as they waited for him to test negative. He trained at the team's alternate site in Corpus Christi until he was ready to join the Major League team.
It’s been frustrating for Alvarez, who said he continued to test positive even as he started to feel better.
“Obviously, my main concern was my family,” Alvarez said. “I think one of the (reasons) I stayed quiet and nobody knew about me was also to not worry the other part of my family so much, like my parents who are in Cuba.”
The Astros began a three-game home series against the Mariners on Friday night.
Alvarez batted fifth, between Alex Bregman and Yuli Gurriel, in his first appearance of 2020. He was also credited with an RBI on a hit by pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth inning, and finished the game 1-for-4 with 4 RBIs.