Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images
After putting up fifteen runs the night before, the Astros sought to continue that offensive success on Saturday afternoon in the middle game of the series with the Blue Jays. Here is a quick recap of the game:
Final Score: Astros 7, Blue Jays 2.
Record: 48-23, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-2, 2.77 ERA).
Losing pitcher: Clayton Richard (0-3, 7.52 ERA).
1) Valdez goes six innings in another good start
While it wasn't quite as good as his seven-inning one-run start against Baltimore last weekend, Framber Valdez still put together a solid start on the mound against Toronto. Valdez only had one rough inning, allowing a couple of runs on three hits in the fifth inning.
Otherwise, Valdez managed and held the lead he was given well, and in the end, would finish six innings of two-run baseball and earn the win. Valdez's final line: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 8 K.
2) Astros' offense continues to bash Toronto's pitching
Houston continued hitting the ball well on Saturday much as they did on Friday night. They got the scoring started in the bottom of the second on an RBI-double by Jack Mayfield who would come around to score later in the inning on an error, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead.
Yordan Alvarez homered yet again, getting an upper-deck blast to right-field in the bottom of the third to give him four home runs in his first five games and extend the lead to 3-0 in the game. They added two more runs to the lead in the next inning, getting RBIs from Myles Straw and Alex Bregman to make it a 5-0 game.
After the Blue Jays trimmed the lead to three runs at 5-2 in the top of the fifth inning, Houston would put it back at five runs in the bottom of the sixth with a solo home run from Josh Reddick and another RBI for Straw, making it 7-2. That score would be the final in a day where the Astros would get a lot of production from their recent call ups with Alvarez going 3-for-4 with a homer, Jack Mayfield hitting three doubles, and Myles Straw knocking in two runs.
3) Bullpen finishes off the win
With Valdez's afternoon done after six innings, Houston turned to their bullpen to finish off the last three innings. Chris Devenski took over on the mound in the seventh and retired six batters in a row to complete two scoreless innings.
Josh James came in with the game still 7-2 in the top of the ninth. He'd work around a two-out single to cap off the win, setting up Houston to go for the sweep on Sunday after taking the first two of the series.
Up Next: The Astros will attempt the series sweep with Sunday's series finale starting at 1:10 PM. The Father's Day matchup on the mound will be Brad Peacock (6-3, 3.42 ERA) for Houston going opposite of Trent Thornton (1-5, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.
With a new season on the horizon, the Astros have high hopes for 2024 after coming just one game shy of being in the World Series for three consecutive seasons.
If Houston wants to get back to the Fall Classic in 2024, they're going to have to rely on their pitching. Owner Jim Crane believes the club has 8 starting pitchers when Luis Garcia and Lance McCullers Jr. return mid-season.
Which allows several of the starters to move to the bullpen and provide even more depth. Add those guys to Bryan Abreu, Ryan Pressly, and Josh Hader and you have a recipe for success.
Check out the video above as ESPN Houston's Jeremy Branham goes through the entire staff and makes his case for the Astros having the best pitching staff in baseball.
You can listen to The Killer B's with Jeremy Branham and Joel Blank every weekday on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 from 3 pm - 6 pm!