Astros slugger Alvarez hospitalized with shortness of breath

ATLANTA (AP) — Astros left fielder Yordan Alvarez was taken to a hospital during Friday night’s game against Atlanta because of shortness of breath that was exacerbated by the Braves’ in-game fireworks, Houston manager Dusty Baker said.

Alvarez departed the game under his own power with two outs in the bottom of the fifth inning. There was a pause in the action when Braves rookie Vaughn Grissom fouled a ball off his foot and was being tended to by a trainer.

That’s when Alvarez, who is batting .295 with 31 homers and 77 RBIs, made his break for the Houston dugout.

“He’s being analyzed by the doctors,” Baker said. “They said all his vitals are good. He’s feeling normal but he still has to see our doctor. He was just, he had shortness of breath, and then when they shot the fireworks off, the smoke kind of made it worse.

“I’m glad we got him out when we did because I looked up and he was in the dugout and it was kind of a scary moment because it could be anything, but they said he’s doing fine at the moment.”

Baker said no one in the Astros’ dugout knew Alvarez, an AL All-Star this year and the 2019 Rookie of the Year, was in any distress.

“We didn’t see anything,” Baker said. “I just looked up in the dugout and he was there. After that we had to take it into emergency action to find out what’s wrong and then the emergency crew came over and took him to the hospital.”

Losing Alvarez, who ranks first in AL on-base percentage and second in homers, slugging percentage, OPS and runs, for any length of time would be a big blow to Houston. The AL-leading Astros are 77-44 and primed for another deep postseason run.

They lost in the World Series last year to Atlanta.

“He’s a big, big part of this team,” Baker said. “He’s our big boy in the middle, so we’re not thinking about losing him. We’re thinking about getting him back and hopefully he’ll be all right tomorrow.”

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