On Sunday, Minute Maid Park witnessed once again what Framber Valdez is like when he’s on top of his game. The lefty star shut out the Oakland Athletics and went the distance as the Astros completed a three-game sweep with a 2-0 win to end the week in fashion.
Valdez was absolutely stellar on Sunday’s action. In his nine innings, Framber allowed only four hits (three singles) and struck out seven hitters on 104 pitches (64 strikes). That was it!
Despite getting 26 swings against his sinker, Framber didn’t get any whiff with that pitch, which is noticeably rare. However, he was on point and cruised through the A’s lineup. In fact, Framber sat down nine hitters in a row after allowing a Jesús Aguilar single to open the second inning.
This was the second-ever shutout in Framber Valdez’s MLB career – the other one came on September 12, 2022, against the Detroit Tigers. However, this one has a special note as it helped the Astros win their seventh straight game and sit 1.5 games behind the Texas Rangers in the AL West.
Framber Valdez, Shutout. pic.twitter.com/7Bzcvi8VaV— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) May 21, 2023
Framber, who wasn’t particularly good in his previous start, evened his record at 4-4 and lowered his ERA to 2.45.
He was backed up offensively by two runs. In the fifth, José Altuve hit an RBI single to record his first run batted in of the season.
An inning later, the Astros added one more to their lead as Yordan Álvarez scored on a wild pitch by pitcher Sam Moll.
That man was movin' ♂️ pic.twitter.com/HoPVb2GE1O— Houston Astros (@astros) May 21, 2023
It was just a matter of time for Framber and the guys to preserve the lead and get their 27th win of the campaign. It took only 2:26 hours to complete another win for Dusty Baker’s guys, one of the shortest nine-inning games for the Astros this season.
The Astros will go back to action on Monday, when they’ll begin a six-game road trip that kicks off in Milwaukee facing the Brewers in a three-game set. The first contest will feature Cristian Javier and Corbin Burnes as the starters. Nice pitching matchup, y’all!