Joe Espada Lauds Framber Valdez's 7-Inning Shutout Mastery

Astros dominate Athletics, driven by Valdez's stellar pitching

by Zain ul Abedin
Joe Espada Lauds Framber Valdez's 7-Inning Shutout Mastery
© Logan Riely/Getty Images

Framber Valdez is back and, if anything, better than ever for the Houston Astros. He recently pitched in their dominant shutout victory over the Oakland Athletics, and now they are just a game away from potentially sweeping their four-game series.

A big part of it was Valdez having a tremendous game on the mound. The Astros' bats were also in full force, reeling off seven runs in support of their starter. Manager Joe Espada addressed just how big the outing from Valdez was at the end of the game.

Espada Applauds Valdez

Espada applauded Valdez's strong showing in his start, most notably the length at which he pitched into the game. "Just what the doctor ordered," Espada said. "That was a very strong performance. We needed Framber to take us deep into the game, and he did that.

He knew the condition of our bullpen going into this game, and he did a good job." Valdez was dominant, allowing the Astros to use just one other pitcher with total command and control of the mound. The southpaw Valdez really had a good show as he gave up just two hits to the A's in seven innings.

Valdez had his stuff working, including a career-best eight strikeouts to 11 groundouts and one popout, as the Astros coasted to victory. After Valdez threw 97 pitches, Seth Martinez took over and maintained the groove. The great performance by Martinez further testified to the work done by Valdez when the Astros used only one reliever.

The Astros' bullpen was used fairly with four pitchers who had thrown in the series against the A's. So far in the first two games, Tayler Scott, Ryan Pressly, Rafael Montero, and Bryan Abreu managed to work on the mound. The Astros cruised to an easy win, clinching the series win.

Valdez now pitches to a 3-1 record with an ERA of 2.95, registering 31 strikeouts in over 36 innings pitched with a solid WHIP of 1.20. Meanwhile, the Astros were very impressive on their offensive side, with Jose Altuve and Kyle Tucker having run in the first innings.

Alex Bregman's sacrifice fly added to the runs and the last run was added by Jeremy Pena. The Astros now will look for increasing their winning streak of 3 wins against Athletics. With Valdez in top form and the team performing well, the Astros are poised for further success as they look to extend that winning run.

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