Days go by, but the Astros keep winning and winning. On Friday night, in the series opener, they ambushed the Washington Nationals early in the game to get a 6-1 victory. Framber Valdez was masterful again, and the hitters came alive en route to the Astros’ 11th win in a row, one shy of tying the franchise record.
Valdez tied the longest start of his career, this time to get his second win of the season (2-2) with 7 2/3 strong innings. The southpaw surrendered seven hits but only one earned run, gave up two walks, and struck out six hitters. Across 26 innings over his last four starts, Framber has a 2.08 ERA.
Valdez was backed up by five runs even before he began throwing. In the first inning, with the first pitch of the ballgame, José Altuve cracked the scoreboard with his sixth home run of the season, Alex Bregman doubled in one more run, Yordan Álvarez hit an RBI single, and Yuli Gurriel launched his first long ball of the campaign, a two-run shot that also came off the first pitch of the at-bat against Josiah Gray.
Two bombs in the 1st inning has them feeling Gray. pic.twitter.com/PaO36MIiSF— Houston Astros (@astros) May 13, 2022
Besides his homer, Gurriel had a beautiful play as well...
A bit later, in the third inning, Yordan belted a solo jack of his own for his 11th four-bagger of the season to tie Aaron Judge in first place. It was a 438-foot moonshot that immediately disappeared over the center-field fence. Now, Álvarez has three homers in his last two games.
With Valdez gone, Rafael Montero took things over with a third of an inning to end the eighth and Ryan Pressly got the final three outs of the game to complete their 11th straight victory for the seventh time in franchise history. The other times were in 2021 (11), 2017 (11), 1986 (11), 1999 (12), 2004 (12), and 2018 (12).
This win was also meaningful for Dusty Baker’s resume...
On Saturday, both teams will go to the second game of the series with the Astros having the chance to tie their own record. Cristian Javier (2-0, 0.83 ERA) is slated to take the ball for Houston to start against righty Erick Fedde (2-2, 3.90 ERA).