Framber Valdez dominates in the Astros’ close win over the Athletics
Framber Valdez bounced back the best after his worst start of the season Houston Astros completed the three-game sweep Oakland Athletics With a 2-0 win on Sunday
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Valdez (4-4) allowed four hits and didn’t issue a walk while pitching his fifth career complete game and second shutout. He struck out seven over four innings against the Chicago Cubs last week, his shortest outing and one that snapped his streak of seven quality starts.
Valdez retired 12 of the first 13 batters when Jesus Aguilar hit a leadoff infield single in the second as Valdez slowly covered first base on a grounder to right. Aledmys Diaz led off the fifth, but Valdez induced an inning-ending double play by Shea Langeliers to face the minimum in that frame.
Esteury Ruiz lined a two-out double to left in the sixth, and Ruiz was initially ruled out before the call was overturned following a challenge. Valdez struck out Brent Rooker to pin Ruiz, retired Athletics seventh and eighth respectively, beating Ramon Laureano to finish ninth with Nick Allen in third. THE Astros Valdez had to be sharp as they battled offensively
Houston went 1-9 with runners in scoring position. Athletics Right-hander James Kaprielian, recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas on Saturday, pitched effectively during his five-inning appearance. He allowed one run on three hits and four walks while recording five strikeouts
Kaprielian (0-4) retired from the Astros only once in a row, in the bottom of the third inning. But he induced a double-play grounder off the bat of Alex Bregman to prevent a leadoff walk to Jose Altuve in the first inning and struck out Chas McCormick with runners on the corners in the second inning. Kaprielian didn’t add a hit until Jake Meyers stroked a leadoff single in the fifth, and Meyers later scored the first run when Altuve delivered an RBI single.
THE Astros He doubled that lead in one inning when Yordan Alvarez plated Oakland reliever Sam Moll with a leadoff double. Alvarez then scored on a wild pitch, but the Astros missed another scoring opportunity when McCormick faced off Athletics right-handed Lucas Erceg, cheering with runners on the corner
Houston first baseman Jose Abreu hit an inning-ending pitch with the bases loaded in the seventh, giving up Martin Maldonado’s leadoff double. THE Astros stranded eight
THE Astros swept their six-game homestand and extended their winning streak to seven games. Oakland has lost 12 of 14 games
— Field Level Media