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Another Strong Framber Valdez Start Leads Astros to 5-3 Victory

The Twins played the Astros in game two of a three-game set on Wednesday night.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Thomas Shea-USA TODAY Sports

The Astros entered Wednesday’s contest against the invading Minnesota Twins looking to clinch their three-game series.

Houston was relying on Framber Valdez (12-4, 2.72) to take game two of the series. He was facing off against 29-year-old right-hander Dylan Bundy (7-5, 4.64).

Houston got off to the quickest start possible. After Valdez set down the Twins in order in the top of the first, Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the frame with his 21st jack of the season. He launched the ball 400 feet into left field at a 31° angle and 103.6 MPH off the bat for an early 1-0 lead.

The Twinkies got to Valdez in the third inning. After Sandy León drew a leadoff walk and moved to third on a Jorge Polanco double, he scored on a Carlos Correa sacrifice fly to left field. Polanco was stranded on second as Valdez came back to strike out José Miranda and Gio Urshela on six pitches.

The Astros took their lead back in the bottom of the third. Martín Maldonado led off with a double to right-center, then took third on an Altuve single. Altuve, meanwhile, was caught trying to stretch things into a double. Maldonado scored on a Yuli Gurriel sacrifice fly into center field.

In the fourth inning, Jeremy Peña came up with a web gem and SC Top 10 candidate.

In the sixth inning, Yordan Alvarez started things off with a one-out double. After a wild pitch courtesy of Michael Fulmer, Alvarez scored on an Alex Bregman sacrifice fly to make it 3-1 in favor of Houston. Later in the inning, Trey Mancini smacked a two-run homer for a 5-1 lead. It was Mancini’s fifth since joining the Astros, his 15th this season, and the 122nd of his career.

Like Altuve’s earlier, Mancini’s dinger was launched at a 31° angle. Mancini hit it with a 97.5 MPH exit velocity and it landed 352 feet from the plate.

Valdez came in to pitch the seventh inning for Houston, and managed to get through it without damage. Over his seven innings, he allowed two hits and four walks for one run against eight strikeouts. He put 65-of-106 pitches in the zone. His resulting 73 GameScore was tied for his fourth-best mark of a pretty good season.

After Bryan Abreu pitched a perfect eighth inning, Rafael Montero came on to close it out in a non-save situation. He allowed the first four runners to get on base, including two runs. With two runners on, and the go-ahead run at the plate, Max Kepler lined into a double play. Gary Sánchez grounded out to third to end Minnesota’s threat. Box Score

Tomorrow’s contest will see Luis Garcia (10-8, 4.09) trying to lead Houston to a sweep. Now at 80 victories for the season, Houston will also be attempting to clinch a .500 record for the season, with 36 games remaining still to be played after. Thanks for reading.