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Late-inning production propels Houston. Astros defeat Royals 7-4

The Astros reach 35 wins behind a solid outing by Framber Valdez and a productive offense that got 12 hits.

Houston Astros v Kansas City Royals Photo by Jay Biggerstaff/Getty Images

After receiving a shutout on Saturday, the Astros removed the dust off his bats and enjoyed good run-production to defeat the Royals 7-4 and finish their road trip with a series win. Houston scored four times between the eighth and ninth innings to come up with their 35th victory of the season.

While the ‘Stros were waiting for their hitters to come alive, Framber Valdez was set to pitch another good game and continue his recent track of pure success. Helped by a great mix of his curveball and fastball –threw those two pitches 82 percent of the times—, Valdez pitched six innings for his eighth quality start in a row and his fifth consecutive win (total record is 6-2).

Framber, who struggled with command at times, surrendered four hits and two earned runs, gave up three walks, struck out five opponents, and allowed Salvador Pérez’s eighth home run of 2022. Over his last eight outings, the 28-year-old southpaw carries a 2.13 ERA across 55 innings with 43 punchouts.

With a 10-4 record in their last 14 contests, the Astros’ first run of the game came thanks to a sacrifice fly by Mauricio Dubón in the third. An inning later, Yordan Álvarez scored on a wild pitch and Kyle Tucker homered for the first time in June and ninth time overall in 2022 to make it 3-0.

Even though the Royals got closer in the score after Pérez’s two-run long ball against Framber in the sixth (3-2), Yordan answered in the eighth launching a solo moonshot off Arodys Vizcaíno that traveled 456 feet, the second-largest home run of his career and his 16th shot of the 2022 campaign. Álvarez went 3-for-4 and finished a double shy of hitting for the cycle.

Despite being up 4-2, the win didn’t come without sweating. Salvador Pérez drove in another run and made it 4-3 in the eighth inning. The Astros had a three-run rally waiting to be launched, though. Three RBI singles by Tucker, Yuli Gurriel, and Jeremy Peña left the scoreboard 7-3.

With Ryan Pressly up for the save and after two outs, he argued with home plate umpire Vic Carapazza and was ejected...

Things got complicated, the Royals scored once, and three pitchers were used in the ninth: Pressly, Phil Maton, and Rafael Montero, who retired Nicky López with bases loaded to finally close the game.

On Monday, the Astros will begin a six-game homestand that kicks off with a three-game series against the Seattle Mariners, who won two out of three the last time both teams saw each other. Cristian Javier will face current AL Cy Young winner Robbie Ray.