Astros: Framber Valdez pitches a gem to sweep the Angels
By Brian Murray
Framber Valdez had a shaky start to the game but settled in nicely as the Houston Astros complete the series sweep over the Los Angeles Angels.
The Astros called up Framber Valdez to start in place of the injured Aaron Sanchez. Many were asking why after going 0-4 and posting a 15.55 ERA in his last four appearances for Houston. Well, Valdez redeemed himself with one of his better pitching performances and answering that question.
In the first inning, he walked two batters putting runners on at first and second with one out but got Justin Upton to hit into a double play to get out of early trouble. Then in the second inning after striking out Albert Pujols, Valdez surrendered a line drive home run to left field by Andrelton Simmons evening the score 1-1.
From that point on, Valdez went to work shutting down the Angels offense. He would allow just one more hit in the game while amassing eight strikeouts in his six innings of work to get the win for the Astros.
Hector Rondon came in for Valdez in the seventh pitching a perfect inning and Joe Smith followed him allowing just one hit to ease through the eighth. Chris Devenski closed out the game allowing a harmless home run to Brian Goodwin wrapping up the 11-2 victory for the sweep and the Astros fourth straight win.
Jose Altuve continued his success behind the plate since he returned from the Injured List back in late June. He went 2-for-5 knocking in two runs and scoring two, including his 24th homer of the season in the Astros seven-run eighth inning.
Josh Reddick got his first multi-hit game since July 14th with a run and three RBIs in a 2-for-3 afternoon. Maybe this is just what Reddick needs to get out of a little slump. Abraham Toro also had a decent day going 1-for-3 scoring one and collecting two RBIs, the first of his Major League career. Martin Maldonado added to the damage with his ninth homer of the season.
After a day off tomorrow, the Astros will finish their homestand with three games against the Tampa Bay Rays. Depending on what the Yankees do this evening, the Astros will either be tied for the best record in the American League or own it outright. Go Dodgers! Just this once.