Framber Valdez has been a hard-luck pitcher this year. Despite a 2.38 ERA going into the game tonight, his record is only 3-4. So it’s a little ironic that, on the night when he finally got some run support, he could only go four innings, leaving the game with a 4-4 tie.
Oh well. Alex Bregman broke his slump to add a two-run homer in the seventh to give the Astros the 6-4 win.
The Astros got off to a hot start off Cubs starter Jameson Taillon. Mauricio Dubon led off with a single, and with one out, Yordan Alvarez singled Dubon to second. With two outs, Jose Abreu hit a two-run double to left-center field, followed by a Jeremy Peña RBI single, and an RBI Chas McCormick double.
Offense is chompin' at the bit today pic.twitter.com/DFxr0ytGXC— Houston Astros (@astros) May 16, 2023
Astros starter Framber Valdez started strong, striking out his first four batters, mostly swinging on cutters outside the zone. But as the Cubs began to lay off that pitch, they began to time Valdez, who lacked the command of his last start when he had an almost 75% strike percentage. In the fourth inning, the Cubs nullified the Astros' lead with three singles and a Christopher Morel homer high above the Crawford Boxes. Score 4-4.
Valdez got eight Ks in four innings but allowed seven hits, two walks and only had 53 strikes out of 91 pitches.
The Astros had a threat in the fifth, with Dubon and Alex Bregman leading off by getting to first and third bases, respectively. But Alvarez and poor baserunning dampened the threat, Alvarez grounding out to first and then Dubon getting thrown out at home after a rundown at second with Bregman.
The Astros took the 6-4 lead in the seventh inning on an Alex Bregman two-run homer to the Crawford Boxes.
After an Alvarez walk, Kyle Tucker was perhaps robbed of a homer by an amazing Cody Bellinger catch on a fly high off the fence on the right-field bullpen. Bellinger came out of the game with an injured leg on the play.
After Valdez left the game, the Astros bullpen of Seth Martinez, Phil Maton, Rafael Martinez, Ryne Stanek, and Hector Neris was scoreless and nearly perfect, adding eight Ks to the eight Valdez hurled. Neris earned his second save of the year. Rafael Montero was the winner.
Cristian Javier goes tomorrow for the Stros at 7:10.