Top News

Astros explode late, sweep Angels in rout


Framber Valdez returned from his stint in the minors and delivered six strong innings as the Houston Astros completed a three-game series sweep of the visiting Los Angeles Angels with an 11-2 victory Sunday at Minute Maid Park.

Valdez (4-6) was 0-4 with a 15.55 ERA over his previous four appearances with the Astros before being optioned to Triple-A Round Rock after his start on July 15.

The 25-year-old left-hander proved exceptional on Sunday while filling in for injured right-hander Aaron Sanchez, allowing one run on two hits and five walks with eight strikeouts.

Valdez turned his outing around in the third inning when, after loading the bases with no outs in a 1-all game, he struck out Shohei Ohtani and Justin Upton in succession before getting Albert Pujols to tap a weak grounder back to the mound. Valdez went on to retire eight consecutive batters and 12 of the final 14 he faced in his longest outing since a June 15 win over Toronto. The eight strikeouts matched his season high set against the Blue Jays in that 7-2 victory.

The Astros, 6-1 on their current 10-game homestand, managed two runs against Angels right-hander Jaime Barria (4-7), who nearly matched Valdez in effectiveness. Barria surrendered an RBI groundout to Yordan Alvarez in the first inning and an RBI single to Josh Reddick with two outs in the fourth but was otherwise impressive while allowing three hits over 5 1/3 innings.

Astros catcher Martin Maldonado provided an early measure of insurance with a two-run homer in the seventh inning against Angels right-hander Ty Buttrey, stretching the lead to 4-1 with his ninth home run on the season.

But then the Astros blew open the game in their seven-run eighth as the first six batters reached against Angels reliever Taylor Cole. Alex Bregman (double) and rookie Abraham Toro (single) produced RBI hits before Reddick added a two-run double inside the first-base line that scored Yuli Gurriel and Toro after both advanced on a wild pitch.

Altuve later socked his 24th home run to match his career high set in 2016 and matched in 2017.

The Angels closed their seven-game road trip at 1-6. The Astros improved to 23-2 at home against American League West opponents.

--Field Level Media

Recent Stories