Dubón gets redemption with a go-ahead HR

OAKLAND — Mauricio Dubon might need to make pregame crossword puzzles a behavior.

Earlier than Sunday afternoon’s sport on the Coliseum, Alex Bregman was racking his mind with a crossword, enlisting the assistance of some teammates. Dubón helped out with a solution, and Bregman yelled, “That’s one hit assured for Dubón in the present day!”

Within the high of the ninth inning, Dubón stepped to the plate hitless in 4 at-bats to that time. Then he launched a pitch over the left-field fence to offer the Astros a 3-2 win over the A’s on getaway day.

“We have been speaking about that [crossword puzzle],” Dubón stated, smiling after the sport.

Fact be informed, Dubón attributed his blast to a bargaining session with a better energy. He was 1-for-14 in the course of the collection earlier than the house run and in search of a breakthrough.

“It’s been a horrible collection, attempting to go looking, attempting to get again and going,” Dubón stated. “I requested God for assist, actually. I used to be actually like, ‘Hey, it’s me once more.’ He ended up coming by means of.”

Dubón’s dinger additionally offered him some redemption.

Simply moments earlier, Dubón missed an indication (ostensibly for a hit-and-run), and it left his teammate Jeremy Peña uncovered on the basepaths for a simple caught-stealing. The subsequent pitch, Dubón delivered his dagger, saying he was acquainted with Oakland reliever Chad Smith’s slider after seeing it 4 instances in the course of the at-bat.

“I missed the signal,” Dubón stated. “I acquired extra centered on attempting to make one thing occur. [I] tried to remain centered, keep affected person with no matter was coming and tried to flush it out instantly.”

With the homer, Dubón matched his profession excessive for a season (5) whereas additionally recording his twenty seventh RBI, including on to his career-high whole. Regardless of his latest mini-slump, the 29-year-old is slashing .269/.293/.382 — which might be profession bests for any season he’s performed no less than 55 video games.

Briefly, Dubón is within the midst of a profession 12 months.

“I believe it’s only a matter of alternative,” Dubón stated. “[Manager] Dusty [Baker] gave me the belief of going on the market and enjoying. Simply attempting to grind at-bats and he by no means doubted. I believe that’s been the most important key for my success this 12 months … I’ve waited my entire life for this.”

Dubón’s manufacturing has been essential to preserve the Astros’ lineup afloat, as beginning second baseman Jose Altuve has solely performed in 32 of the crew’s 100 video games this season. Apart from his stable glove, Dubón has additionally been a lynchpin within the leadoff spot amid Altuve’s absence.

“He’s been huge,” Baker stated. “Leadoff spot, he’s performed an important second base. He’s given us every thing and greater than we’d like. However as a supervisor, you at all times need extra. There’s extra there. He’s simply tapped the floor of what his skills are. Hopefully this began that course of.”

Baker stated he’s hoping to get Altuve (left indirect pressure) again quickly — the star took half in batting observe once more Sunday — so he can use Dubón as an excellent utility man to maintain his squad recent. Dubón has additionally logged innings at shortstop, left subject and first base this 12 months, whereas additionally showing in heart and proper subject for the Astros final season.

“We wouldn’t be shut proper now with out Mauricio, particularly with as many video games as Altuve has missed,” Baker stated. “It could be nice to get Altuve again, after which I can transfer Dubón round and provides him a relaxation. That is essentially the most video games he’s ever performed, so he’s treading in territory the place he’s by no means been earlier than.”

It’s additionally price noting that Dubón turned a powerful double play within the second inning to bail out righty Hunter Brown, who put collectively a high quality begin by permitting simply two earned runs over six innings on six hits and two walks whereas putting out 4.

Catcher Yainer Diaz additionally hit a solo shot within the fifth inning, whereas Corey Julks walked with the bases loaded within the seventh inning to tie up the sport earlier than Dubón’s game-winner. Houston sits three video games again of Texas heading into the Lone Star Sequence, which begins at Minute Maid Park on Monday.

“That is what you yearn for on a regular basis,” Baker stated. “You’re solely three video games out earlier than August, you bought motion. … You gotta make hay when you may.”

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Revealed : 2023-07-24 00:57:10

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