Astros have won seven straight

Valdez deals as Astros bash Rockies to continue winning streak

Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images

With a sweep of the Houston-portion of this four-game series, the Astros brought a six-game winning streak to the thin air of Colorado, trying to extend it to seven. Although they received news that Yordan Alvarez would miss the rest of the season, there was some positive news with George Springer back in the lineup. Here is how Wednesday's game unfolded:

Final Score: Astros 13, Rockies 6.

Record: 14-10, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Framber Valdez (2-2, 1.72 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Ryan Castellani (0-1, 3.77 ERA).

Astros power their way into a lead, Bregman exits with injury

After a quick first inning, Framber Valdez got into an early jam in the bottom of the second. He would commit an error on a come-backer with one out, then allowed back-to-back singles, one scoring the first run of the evening to put Colorado ahead 1-0. He went on to load the bases by hitting the next batter, then got an incredible play on defense by Carlos Correa to get him out of the jam, a diving snag to start an inning-ending double play.

Martin Maldonado would get the run back in the top of the third, hitting a one-out solo home run. In the top of the fourth, Alex Bregman led it off with a double but would sustain a leg injury between home and first base, immediately exiting the game after getting to second.

Houston would get another long ball in the top of the fifth, as Carlos Correa demolished one to left field to lead off the inning, giving the Astros their first lead, 2-1. Kyle Tucker followed with a triple, then came in on Taylor Jones' first hit and RBI, a single to make it 3-1.

Houston can't stop scoring

In the top of the sixth, Tucker would hit his second triple in as many at-bats, driving in two more runs to extend Houston's lead to 5-1. Jones would follow and get the same result he had in last plate appearance as well, an RBI-single to make it 6-1.

They wouldn't stop there, continuing to punish Colorado's pitchers in the top of the seventh. They added four more runs on six hits, including an RBI-single by Abraham Toro, an RBI-double by Yuli Gurriel, and two more RBI for Correa on a two-run single, making it a nine-run game at 10-1. George Springer would join the party in the top of the eighth, finally connecting on a solo dinger after long flyouts earlier in the night, pushing Houston's lead to ten runs at 11-1.

Valdez with another impressive night on the mound

Meanwhile, Valdez was able to rebound from the run he allowed in the second, allowing just two hits over the next five innings, putting him well in line for the win. With the large lead and his pitch count still manageable, he would return for the bottom of the eighth but would allow a couple of meaningless unearned runs while getting two outs. Nevertheless, an impressive outing. His final line: 7.2 IP, 7 H, 3 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 0 HR.

Make it seven straight

Joe Biagini made his second appearance of the year, following Valdez to get the final out of the eighth. Kyle Tucker would finish his night strong in the top of the ninth, notching his fourth hit of the night and twentieth for Houston, a two-run home run to make it 13-3. Biagini went back out for the bottom of the ninth, but could not record an out, allowing an RBI-single and loading the bases before Dusty Baker would move on to Cy Sneed. Sneed would get the last three outs, but not before Colorado would grab two more runs on a two-out, two-RBI single, making it 13-6. The win made it seven straight for the Astros.

Up Next: The fourth and final game of this set between the Astros and Rockies will be another afternoon game, with first pitch scheduled for Thursday at 2:10 PM Central. Cristian Javier (2-1, 2.91 ERA) will look to build on the success of the six-inning shutout start his last time out for Houston, while German Marquez (2-3, 2.25 ERA) will be on the mound for Colorado.

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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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