Framber Valdez is supposed to stop the bleeding.
But after the Astros lost the two previous games despite quality starts by the rookies, Valdez could only go five innings due to lack of control, allowing three runs in the fifth. That isn’t good enough to win with an Astros offense that apparently has a quota of two runs per game, so Valdez had to take the loss.
The Astros scored first off Jays starter Jose Berrios in the second inning on an Alex Bregman lead-off home run. The Astros added another run that inning but should have scored more. With no outs, the bases were loaded, but the Astros only got a run as Jake Meyers hit a run-scoring double play, and Martin Maldonado grounded out to end the threat.
Valdez held the Blue Jays until the fifth inning, when three walks were converted into three runs. A bases-loaded fielder’s choice by Matt Chapman produced the first run, but the killer was a one-run, ground-rule double by Alejandro Kirk that was overrun by Astros CF Jake Meyer and should have been caught for out three. Brandon Belt then hit an RBI single that could have scored two runs, but Kirk was thrown out at home by Jeremy Pena’s relay throw.
In the sixth inning, Phil Maton came in for Valdez, walking the lead-off runner and surrendering a double to Santiago Espinal with no outs. However, Maton struck out Daulton Varsho and George Springer but went down in the count to red-hot Bo Bichette 3-0. Maton battled back and got Bichette to ground out to Alex Bregman on a swinging bunt that could have easily been a base hit if not for an excellent barehand catch and throw.
The Astros opened the seventh inning with singles by Jose Abreu and Chas McCormick, but Abreu got picked off by the catcher Kirk, followed by a Jake Meyers groundout and a Martin Maldonado strikeout.
Although Bryan Abreu and (miraculously) Rafael Montero held the Jays in the seventh and eighth innings, the Astros could not mount a threat after the sixth, going down meekly to the Jays, 3-2. The Astros lost both the series and the season series to a possible WC competitor.
Even worse, Yordan Alvarez left the game before his second AB with right oblique discomfort.
The Astros managed only six hits, two each by Jose Abreu and Chas McCormick.
The Astros take on the Guardians in Cleveland tomorrow at 6:10 CT. Cristian Javier goes to end the Stros’ three-game skid.