Valdez wins sixth straight as Astros beat Rangers 4-2

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Altuve homered to back Framber Valdez, who won his sixth straight decision, as the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Valdez (14-4) gave up solo homers to Texas’ Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, rookies Ezequiel Duran and Bubba Thompson, and five singles in eight innings. He struck out eight and walked none while pitching his 22nd consecutive quality start.

Valdez has the most consecutive quality starts...

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ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Jose Altuve homered to back Framber Valdez, who won his sixth straight decision, as the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 4-2 on Tuesday night.

Valdez (14-4) gave up solo homers to Texas’ Nos. 8 and 9 hitters, rookies Ezequiel Duran and Bubba Thompson, and five singles in eight innings. He struck out eight and walked none while pitching his 22nd consecutive quality start.

Valdez has the most consecutive quality starts in a season by a left-hander in major league history. He’s tied with Hall of Famer Bob Gibson and Chris Carpenter behind the 24 thrown by Jacob deGrom of the New York Mets in 2018.

The 14 wins are second in the American League to teammate Justin Verlander’s 16.

Altuve pulled an inside slider just inside the left-field foul pole into the second deck to begin Houston’s two-run third inning, which included an RBI single by Christian Vasquez and was aided by a throwing error by third baseman Ezequiel Duran. Altuve led off the game with a double and scored on a sacrifice fly by Alex Bregman.

The Astros added a run in the seventh inning on a leadoff single by rookie Jeremy Pena, who had three singles, and three straight walks.

Hector Neris earned his third save in six opportunities.

Dane Dunning (3-7) lost for the first time since June 29. Dunning gave up three runs, two earned, on seven hits and three walks. Of his 95 pitches in five innings, 40 were thrown in the third inning.

Thompson homered to left field in the third inning for his first big-league homer. Duran’s fifth of the season came in the fifth, to left center.

VERLANDER TO INJURED LIST

Astros RHP Justin Verlander was placed on the 15-day injured list with a right calf injury. An MRI revealed fascial disruption, but no muscle fiber disruption. Verlander, 39, said he isn’t sure of a timetable for his return but doesn’t expect to be out too long.

SHORT HOPS

Rangers RF Adolis Garcia singled twice to extend his on-base streak to 25 games after having his career-best 23-game hitting streak snapped on Sunday. … Astros RHP Brandon Bielak and IF/OF J.J. Matijevic were recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land. … Astros RHP Hunter Brown – leading the Pacific Coast League in earned run average, strikeouts and tied for first with nine wins – joined the club on the taxi squad and will be activated when rosters expand on Thursday.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: DH Yordan Alvarez (hand) missed his second consecutive game and is day to day. Manager Dusty Baker said if it appears Alvarez will miss five or six games, it’s unlikely he’d be placed on the injured list.

Rangers: RHP Josh Sborz (elbow sprain) was placed on the injured list. RHP A.J. Alexy was recalled from Triple-A Round Rock.

UP NEXT

The teams will finish the two-game set on Wednesday afternoon with Astros RHP Cristian Javier (7-9, 2.97 ERA) facing Rangers LHP Martin Perez (10-4, 2.69). Javier is 1-6 in his last nine starts, twice not lasting four innings. Perez has shut out the Astros this season (May 20) and allowed seven runs in five innings against them (Aug. 9).

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