Yordan Alvarez Hits Three Home Runs to Help Houston Astros Clinch Playoff Berth

It’s a smashing night for Yordan Alvarez

The 25-year-old Cuban professional baseball designated hitter and left fielder hit three monster home runs to help the Houston Astros past the Oakland Athletics 5-0.

Yordan AlvarezAlvarez homered in his first three at-bats, to help the Astros clinch a postseason berth on Friday night.

The Astros (95-50) won their sixth straight game to join the Los Angeles Dodgers as the first two teams to secure playoff spots, reaching their sixth straight postseason.

There was no big celebration for this team with much bigger goals, but the Astros did share a quiet toast in the clubhouse postgame.

“You’ve got to keep in perspective … how hard it is to get to the playoffs and to stay on top like this for a while,” Verlander said. “It’s not easy. So I’m glad we were able to take a moment.”

Alvarez, tied for second in the AL with a career-high 36 home runs, had solo shots off Adrian Martinez in the first, third and fifth innings. He capped his big night with a single in the seventh to tie his career high with four hits.

“Hitting one home run feels great, imagine hitting three,” Alvarez said in Spanish through an interpreter. “Just a very special night.”

It is his second three-homer game and first since August 10, 2019, a season when he won American League Rookie of the Year. There have been only 15 three-homer games in Houston history and Alvarez joined Glenn Davis and Jeff Bagwell as the only Astros to have more than one.

Alvarez’s homers totaled 1,329 feet — 434, 431 and 464. He joined Nelson Cruz on July 25, 2019, as the only players with three 400-plus foot homers in a game since Statcast started tracking in 2015.

“Yordan was unbelievable,” manager Dusty Baker said. “Those balls he hit, I don’t know what the combined feet were, but boy that’s a lot of mileage.”

There were two outs in the first when Alvarez connected on a shot to straightaway center field to make it 1-0.

Alvarez’s second homer came with two outs in the third to extend the lead to 2-0.

Jeremy Pena hit his 18th homer to left field with one out in the fifth. The Astros went back-to-back when Alvarez sent the next pitch from Martinez into center field to extend the lead to 4-0 and send Houston’s dugout and the crowd into a frenzy.

“You take Alvarez out of the lineup and the line’s a lot different,” Oakland manager Mark Kotsay said. “Yordan is a guy that I referred to before the season started as a possible MVP candidate. And he showed why tonight.”

Adrian Martinez to Star in Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix Comedy “Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story”

Adrian Martinez has landed a new role…

The Latino actor will appear in Jerry Seinfeld’s Netflix comedy Unfrosted: The Pop-Tart Story.

Adrian MartinezMartinez joins a roster of cast members that includes Melissa McCarthyJim GaffiganAmy SchumerHugh GrantJames Marsden, Jack McBrayer, Tom Lennon, Bobby Moynihan, Max Greenfield, Christian Slater and Sarah Cooper.

In addition to co-writing and directing the film, in his feature debut, Seinfeld is set to star.

Billed as a tale of ambition, betrayal, sugar and menacing milkmen, Unfrosted is set in 1963 Michigan. It will watch as sworn cereal rivals Kellogg’s and Post race to create a pastry that will change the face of breakfast forever. Information on the roles to be played by Seinfeld and the newly introduced members of his ensemble has not been disclosed.

Netflix won rights to the film in a competitive situation last year. Seinfeld’s relationship with co-CEO and CCO Ted Sarandos proved helpful in swinging the deal in the direction of the streamer.

The comedian and actor inked a deal worth an estimated $100M with Netflix in 2017, which brought it his popular interview series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, as well as the comedy specials Jerry Before Seinfeld and 23 Hours to Kill. Netflix also last year purchased global rights to stream episodes of Seinfeld’s classic sitcom of the same name for a five-year period.

Seinfeld and Spike Feresten wrote Unfrosted with Andy Robin & Barry Marder. Seinfeld, Feresten and Beau Bauman will produce the film, with Cherylanne Martin, Andy Robin and Barry Marder serving as executive producers.

Martinez is a veteran actor who recently made his feature directorial debut with the drama iGilbert, in which he also stars. He’ll next be seen in the Dracula comedy Renfield from Universal.

Vertical Entertainment to Release Bella Thorne’s “Measure of Revenge” in North America Next Month

Bella Thorne will be exacting revenge at your local theater…

Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to the psychological thriller Measure of Revenge, starring the 24-year-old half-Cuban American actress/singer.

Bella Thorne, Measure of RevengeThe film, which also stars Melissa Leo and Jake Weary, is slated for a day-and-date release on March 18.

In the debut feature of Malaysian helmer Peyfa, Broadway actress Lillian Cooper (Leo) is making her final on-stage appearance when her famous son, Curtis (Weary), is found dead. When his death is ruled as an accidental overdose, a suspicious Lillian decides to take matters into her own hands. On a quest for answers, she strikes up an unlikely alliance with her son’s drug dealer, Taz (Thorne), setting in motion a bloody warpath to uncover the truth, inspired by the characters she portrayed on stage.

Measure of Revenge also stars Roma Maffia, Adrian Martinez and Benedict Samuel. Jen Gatien produced with Peter Wong and Timur Bekbosunov for ACE Pictures Entertainment. Johnny Chang, Bronwyn Cornelius and Emma Lee exec produced, with Jay Cannold co-producing.

“Melissa steps into this role of a grieving and relentless mother seeking justice for her son with such ease that it draws the viewer deeply into her journey and keeps you captivated and rooting for her every step of the way,” said Vertical Entertainment Partner Peter Jarowey.

“We are excited to partner up with Vertical Entertainment on Measure of Revenge to release a film that is an emotional and thrilling experience filled with mystery and surprise,” added Gatien, Wong and Bekbosunov in a joint statement. “Melissa Leo delivers a powerful and energetic performance in the role of a mother hellbent on revenge, forming great screen chemistry with the immensely talented Bella Thorne. We can’t wait for audiences to discover the film.”

Gravitas Ventures Acquires North American Rights to Adrian Martinez’s Feature Directorial Debut Film “iGilbert”

Adrian Martinez’s latest project will be heading to a theater near you…

Gravitas Ventures has acquired the North American rights to iGilbert, the Latino actor’s feature directorial debut film, in which he also stars.

Adrian MartinezMartinez appears alongside Dascha Polanco (In the HeightsOrange Is the New Black) and Raùl Castillo (Army of the DeadWe the Animals).

The indie distributor will release the drama in theaters and on demand on December 31.

iGilbert centers on Gilbert Gonzalez (Martinez), who feels isolated from the world. He is 39, a virgin, obese and lives with his sarcastic, overprotective mother, who owns the Manhattan brownstone.  Fearful of life and people, yet starving for human connection, Gilbert takes photos of women secretly, wherever and whenever he can. Enter Jana (Polanco), a tenant in the building and the source of innumerable fantasies.

Jana is a contradiction – beautiful but haunted by her own insecurities that inhibit her from standing up to her ex-boyfriend Tony (Castillo), an Iraq war vet with PTSD. Gilbert dreams of rescuing her, but doesn’t believe she could ever love him, especially if she knew about all the secret photos. This love triangle becomes a battle for human connection, which is increasingly difficult in our digital and disconnected world.

Martinez produced the film alongside Cynthia Hargrave, also exec producing alongside Jose Rivera.

Martinez’s previous acting credits include Curb Your Enthusiasm, Stumptown, The Blacklist and Gotham.

Dascha Polanco to Star in the NBC pilot “Dangerous Moms,” Based on Spanish Series “Señoras del (h)AMPA”

It’s a dangerous time for Dascha Polanco

The 38-year-old Dominican actress has been cast as a co-lead opposite Shanola Hampton in the NBC pilot Dangerous Moms, from Warner Bros. Television and Universal Television.

Dascha Polanco

Written by Janine Sherman Barrois and based on the Spanish series Señoras del (h)AMPA, Dangerous Moms is an off-center dark dramedy about four diverse mothers — two of them played by Hampton and Polanco — who accidentally kill the queen bee of their school’s PTA during the demonstration of a new high-end food processor.

The story becomes a female anthem about friendship and family as it tells the story of one completely unprepared group of women who must juggle their everyday lives while their worlds are turned upside down.

Polanco will play Pia, the impeccable nemesis of Monique (Hampton). Pia is the No. 1 salesperson for the state-of-the-art TurboThunder3000 food processor and a popular mommy blogger. She also is the landlord of a few apartment buildings in the community, which she hopes to gentrify.

Barrois executive produces with Rachel Kaplan, Intrigue Entertainment’s Tariq Jalil and Lucas Carter as well as Arantxa Écija from Mediaset España Comunicación and Santi Botello from Producciones Mandarina SL, who produced the original series.

Polanco, currently co-starring in Warner Bros. In the Heights, is best known for her work on Orange Is the New Black, for which she shared in three comedy ensemble SAG Awards.

She’s set to star in the upcoming MGM superhero thriller film Samaritan, opposite Sylvester Stallone, and will make her leading film role debut in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iGilbert.

Jesus Ferreira Leads United States U-23 National Team to Critical Win Over Costa Rica

Jesus Ferreira is leading the American futbol pack…

The 20-year-old Colombian soccer player led the United States U-23 national team to a critical victory in its bid to qualify for the Tokyo Olympics, helping them defeat Costa Rica 1-0 in its opening match of the CONCACAF Olympic qualifying tournament in Guadalajara.

Jesus Ferreira

Ferreira, an attacker for FC Dallas, scored the game’s only goal in the 35th minute, and the U.S. defense made it stand up, with keeper David Ochoa making a total of eight saves in a Man-of-the-Match performance.

With Mexico and the Dominican Republic also in Group A, the victory puts the U.S. in excellent position to be one of the two teams to advance and progress to the winner-take-all semifinal.

The U.S. struggled to maintain possession as the game went on amid difficult conditions at Estadio Jalisco that included game-time temperatures approaching 90 degrees as well as altitude of over 5,000 feet. Given that the Major League Soccer season has yet to start while the Costa Rican league is in the middle of its own, the fact that Los Ticos had the better of play wasn’t that surprising.

But the U.S. made the plays that mattered, and rode the saves of Ochoa to claim all three points.

“It wasn’t great,” said U.S. manager Jason Kreis about his team’s attempts to take care of the ball. “It was an important result for us but I would say that we would have hoped to have gotten that result in a little bit of a better fashion.

“I think we would have hoped that we could have been better on the ball and make better decisions and maintain the tempo of the game better. But unfortunately, part of guys not playing matches is that it’s not just about fitness, it’s also about their touch on the ball.

“And so I felt that the majority of what Costa Rica did to hurt us was in transition, when we gave the ball away very cheaply.”

Both teams showed nerves in the early going. Ferreira robbed Costa Rica defender Fernan Faerron in the second minute, advanced on goal unimpeded, but could only hit the post with the shot.

Ochoa was then twice called on to deliver two big saves, smothering Adrian Martinez‘s shot in the seventh minute, and then another close-range Martinez effort 10 minutes later following a giveaway from U.S. defender Mauricio Pineda.

Intent on getting an equalizer, Costa Rica started the second half with the greater level of intensity. The U.S. didn’t help itself with some giveaways deep in its own half, but Ochoa was on hand again, diving to his right to deny Randall Leal‘s effort in the 48th minute and then saving from Luis Diaz three minutes later.

Adrian Martinez Signs with Innovative Artists

Adrian Martinez is getting innovative

The 48-year-old Latino actor has signed with Innovative Artists.

Adrian Martinez

Martinez was most recently a series regular on ABC’s Stumptown.

His other television credits include heavy recurring roles on CBS All Access’ No Activity and NBC’s The Blacklist: Redemption.

In film, Martinez will soon be seen in Disney+’s Lady and the Tramp, in Jamie Babbit’s The Stand-In opposite Drew Barrymore, and in Jordan Galland’s Leave Not One Alive opposite Bella Thorne.

He’s also had a major leading role in the feature film Focus starring Will Smith and Margot Robbie.

Martinez continues to be repped by Vault Entertainment and Sarna & Associates.

Dascha Polanco to Star in the Superhero Thriller “Samaritan”

Dascha Polanco is a good Samaritan…

The 37-year-old Dominican actress is set to star in MGM’s superhero thriller movie Samaritan

Dascha Polanco

Polanco joins a cast that includes Javon ‘Wanna’ WaltonSylvester StalloneMartin StarrPilou Asbækand Moises Arias.

Walton will play a young boy who’s out to discover if a mythic superhero, who vanished 20 years earlier following a tragic event, is still alive.

Julius Avery is directing from a screenplay by Bragi F. Schut, with additional writing by Mark L. SmithZak Penn, and Chuck MacLean

The story is based on Schut’s original idea. 

The film is scheduled for release on December 11 via United Artists Releasingwith Universal handling foreign. 

Polanco portrayed Dayanara Diaz on Netflix’s Orange is the New Blackfor seven-seasons and starred in Ava DuVernay’s 2019 Netflix limited series When They See Us. She’ll soon be seen in her first lead film role in Adrian Martinez’s indie dark comedy iCreep, and Warner Brothers’ adaption of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In The Heightsthis summer. Her additional credits include the FXanthology series The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Storyand films including JoyThe Perfect MatchThe Cobblerand Gimme Shelter

Arias first made a name for himself as series regular on the Disney Channel hit original series Hannah Montana, and has since gone on to appear in several Sundance films including Kings of Summer, The Land and Stanford Prison Experiment. Last year, he appeared in CBS Films’ Five Feet Apart as well as the Sundance World Dramatic Competition Special Jury Award winner Monos and the SXSW opening weekend film The Wall of Mexico

Adrian Martinez to Star in Disney’s Live-Action/CG Update of the Animated Classic “Lady and the Tramp”

Adrian Martinez has landed a Lady of a project…

The Latino actor has landed the role of Elliot, a dog-catcher, in Disney’s live-action/CG hybrid update of the animated classic Lady and the Tramp.

Adrian Martinez

Martinez, last seen opposite Amy Schumer in the comedy I Feel Pretty, joins Kiersey Clemons, Thomas Mann, Yvette Nicole Brown as part of the live cast along with Tessa Thompson and Justin Theroux as the voices for Lady and Tramp.

Charlie Bean is directing the film based on the 1955 original, which followed an upper-middle-class American cocker spaniel named Lady who meets a streetsmart, downtown stray mongrel called Tramp, and the two embark on many romantic adventures including that iconic spaghetti smooch dinner scene.

The film will be released on Disney’s forthcoming streaming service that’s slated to launch in fall 2019.

Martinez’s credits include WB’s Focus and Office Christmas Party.

Bella Thorne to Star in the Indie Revenge Thriller “Leave Not One Alive”

Bella Thorne is coming Alive

The 20-year-old half-Cuban American singer/actresswill star opposite Academy Award winner Melissa Leo in Leave Not One Alive, an independent revenge thriller written and directed by Jordan Galland.

Bella Thorne

The film, currently filming in New York, hails from Ace Pictures Entertainmentand DeerJenJake Weary, Michael Potts, Benedict Samuel, Kevin Corrigan and I Feel Pretty’s Adrian Martinez co-star.

The plot follows a theater actress, Lillian Cooper (Leo) whose son (Weary) dies mysteriously. When the investigating officer (Potts) rules the cause of death an accidental overdose, Lillian conducts her own investigation which leads her to an unlikely alliance with her son’s former drug dealer (Thorne). On her quest for answers, Lillian hallucinates some of the iconic characters she’s played on stage which serve as her inner voice, urging her to avenge her son’s death.

Throne starred alongside Patrick Schwarzenegger in Midnight Sun. She’ll next appear in Sam Levinson’s Assassination Nation and Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.