Valdez pitches Astros past Rangers for AL's best record

  • Houston Astros' Alex Bregman (2) celebrates with Jose Altuve after hitting a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Houston.

    Houston Astros' Alex Bregman (2) celebrates with Jose Altuve after hitting a two-run home run against the Texas Rangers during the fifth inning of a baseball game Thursday, Aug. 11, 2022, in Houston. Associated Press

Updated 8/11/2022 9:28 PM

HOUSTON -- Framber Valdez threw seven shutout innings, Martín Maldonado and Alex Bregman homered with three RBIs each, and the Houston Astros beat the Texas Rangers 7-3 on Thursday.

The Astros (72-41) moved one-half game ahead of the slumping New York Yankees for the AL's best record in manager Dusty Baker's return after he missed five games with COVID-19.


Valdez (11-4) allowed four singles and struck out eight to get his third straight win.

Houston roughed up rookie Cole Ragans (0-1) for five runs in 4 1/3 innings.


PHILADELPHIA -- Edward Cabrera pitched effectively into the sixth inning, Tanner Scott worked in and out of trouble in the ninth, and Miami ended Philadelphia's seven-game winning streak.

Scott struck out pinch-hitter J.T. Realmuto with two men on to end the eighth. In the ninth, he loaded the bases on two singles and a walk, but he struck out Edmundo Sosa and Matt Vierling and got Brandon Marsh to weakly ground out, earning his 16th save in a 39-pitch outing.

Cabrera (3-1) struck out six and walked two in 5 2/3 innings and combined with three relievers on a seven-hitter.

Phillies left fielder and NL home run leader Kyle Schwarber was pulled in the fifth inning with a mild right calf strain.

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Kyle Gibson (7-5) allowed three runs, two earned, in six innings.


DETROIT -- Rookie Oscar Gonzalez knocked in the go-ahead run with a two-out single in the 10th inning and Cleveland extended its winning streak to five games.

Gonzalez's hit off Gregory Soto (2-7) allowed the Guardians to escape after they squandered a two-run lead in the ninth.

Cleveland reliever Trevor Stephan opened the ninth by allowing a walk, a single and Jonathan Schoop's RBI double that got Detroit within 3-2. Enyel De Los Santos (3-0) came in with one out and gave up Eric Haase's tying fielder's-choice grounder.

Bryan Shaw worked the 10th for his first save of the season.


KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Zack Greinke held Chicago scoreless into the seventh inning as Kansas City took three of four in the series.

Greinke allowed nine hits but didn't walk a batter, striking out five while throwing 95 pitches in 6 1/3 innings.

Vinnie Pasquantino homered and Nicky Lopez had a two-run single for the Royals.


Dylan Cease (12-5) allowed three hits and one run - on Pasquatino's homer leading off the second - in six innings as his ERA dropped to 1.96.

Scott Barlow allowed Andrew Vaughn's homer in the ninth but closed it out for his 18th save in 21 chances.


DENVER -- Brendan Rodgers and Ryan McMahon hit back-to-back home runs in a six-run seventh inning, and Colorado held off St. Louis.

The Rockies overcame three more hits from Paul Goldschmidt, including his 27th home run.

Jordan Hicks (3-6) walked two with one out in the seventh and was relieved by Génesis Cabrera. Charlie Blackmon pulled a grounder through the right side to snap a 2-all tie and José Iglesias followed with an RBI single up the middle.

Rodgers then belted a first-pitch changeup an estimated 407 feet for a three-run homer.

Lucas Gilbreath (1-0) pitched a perfect seventh for Colorado. Daniel Bard loaded the bases with one out in the ninth, but got Goldschmidt to ground into an RBI forceout before fanning Nolan Arenado for his 24th save in 26 chances.


PHOENIX -- Emmanuel Rivera homered and hit a two-run double in the seventh inning to help blow open a close game as Arizona beat Pittsburgh.

Trailing 3-2 in the seventh, Arizona tied it on Alek Thomas' bases-loaded groundout off Chase De Jong (4-1). Rivera followed with his double off Yerry De Los Santos and Daulton Varsho hit a three-run double high off the wall in center to put Arizona up 8-3.

Rivera added a double in the eighth inning to finish 3 for 4.

Kevin Ginkel (1-0) got two outs in the seventh inning for his first win since 2019.


BALTIMORE -- Eric Hosmer hit a go-ahead RBI double in the sixth inning just after Baltimore rallied to tie it, and Boston held on to snap a four-game losing streak.

Tommy Pham and Alex Verdugo also had RBI doubles for Boston, which had lost six of seven and was in danger of carrying a five-game skid into a weekend series with the AL East-leading New York Yankees.

Reliever Austin Davis (2-1) got the win by closing out the sixth after the Orioles scored three to tie it. John Schreiber pitched a scoreless ninth for his fourth save.

Terrin Vavra hit a two-run triple for the Orioles, who were off to a 7-1 start in August.


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