ANAHEIM (AP) — Framber Valdez gave up one run over five innings in his first career start and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 3-1 on Sunday for their fifth straight win.
The Astros improved to 47-21 on the road, including an 18-5 mark in California. Houston went 7-2 at Angel Stadium this season.
Valdez (2-0) struck out three while allowing two hits and three walks in his first career start, making his case for the spot in Houston’s rotation left vacant because of Lance McCullers Jr.’s forearm injury.
Carlos Correa had two RBIs on a line-drive single to centerfield with the bases loaded in the third inning that put the Astros in front 2-0. Marwin Gonzalez made it 3-0 with a base hit through the gap at first to score Alex Bregman.
Jefry Marte scored on a ground out by Kole Calhoun to cut the lead to 3-1 in the fifth. It was the first earned run allowed by Valdez in 9 1/3 innings this week after making his major league debut at Seattle on Tuesday, and the 24-year-old left-hander got David Fletcher to ground out and end the inning.
Roberto Osuna earned his second save with the Astros and 11th of the season, striking out pinch hitter Shohei Ohtani to end the game after hitting Francisco Arcia with a two-out pitch.
Felix Pena (1-4) gave up three runs on three hits and two walks in six innings. Pena, who struck out five, has yet to win in seven home starts.
Jose Altuve went 1 for 4 and is batting .350 (7 for 20) with three RBIs in five games following his first-ever trip to the disabled list because of a knee injury. He played in the finale of the Astros’ nine-game road trip despite being hit by a pitch Saturday, the second time he was struck on the left elbow this week.
Astros: OF George Springer (quadriceps) will likely return to the starting lineup Monday against Oakland, manager AJ Hinch said. Springer has missed six games because of soreness in his left leg. . Hinch said McCullers is unlikely to return to the starting rotation this season. Hinch said McCullers’ rehabilitation program will slow down because of a “continued lack of progress,” and he is not expected to throw off the mound until September.
Angels: Ohtani will throw a simulated game Monday. Ohtani has not pitched since June 6 because of an elbow injury. . RHP Matt Shoemaker (forearm) is being evaluated to determine the next step in his recovery following surgery to address nerve pain in his right arm in May, an ailment that has limited Shoemaker to one start since June 14, 2017.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (11-5, 2.73 ERA) will take a 2-0 record with a 2.92 ERA in four starts against Oakland this season into Monday’s opener of a three-game series against the Athletics.
Angels: RHP Odrisamer Despaigne (2-2, 6.35), who has lost both starts after being traded from Miami to Los Angeles on Aug. 14, will get the nod against Colorado on Monday.
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