Astros compete for Ranger series sweep

Astros manager Dusty Baker didn’t deliberate at all when the time came to take out left-hander Framber Valdez, who worked six innings without a hitting in Houston’s 4-1 home win. against the Texas Rangers on Saturday.

Valdez worked with his control throughout and allowed six walks against four strikeouts while throwing just 53 of his 99 shots for strikes. His season high for throwing in a start is 108 in a 7-3 home win over the Chicago White Sox on June 19. In truth, a single hit was unlikely.

“I wasn’t too frustrated with it,” Valdez said of his lift. “I recognized that I had wasted a lot of throws. I know what to do and I know I have to make adjustments to be able to deepen the games. I didn’t take it to heart because I know this. that I need to get done to stay in the games longer. “

Right-hander Zack Greinke (9-3, 3.58 ERA) will start the series final for the Astros on Sunday. He allowed two runs on five hits in 5 1/3 innings in his previous start, a 4-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on July 19.

Greinke leads the club with 10 quality starts, and the Astros are undefeated in those games. He is second in the American League in starts (20) and fourth in innings (102 2/3) and wins.

Greinke is 6-6 with a 3.13 ERA in 20 career appearances (18 starts) against Texas, including 2-0 with a 4.26 ERA this season.

Southpaw Taylor Hearn (2-3, 4.70) starts Sunday as Texas try to avoid the streak sweep and a 0-9 record at Minute Maid Park this season.

Hearn will make his 31st appearance and second start in 2021, his previous start against the Oakland Athletics, when he allowed four runs on two hits and three walks while recording just two strikeouts in a loss of June 13-6 22. He’s made seven consecutive relief appearances since, going 0-1 with a 0.90 ERA while allowing a slanting line of .094 / .194 / .094.

Hearn is 1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in five career appearances against the Astros, with the win on May 21, when Hearn allowed an unearned run on a hit and a walk with two. One-inning strikeouts in the Rangers 7-5. to win.

The Rangers, hit-free twice this season by Yankees’ Corey Kluber and Padres’ Joe Musgrove, shattered the Astros’ combined no-hit offer in the eighth inning when shortstop Isiah Kiner-Falefa blew up a single. starting in the shallow area right. Despite getting six walks from Valdez, the Rangers failed to get a hit in his six innings on the mound.

“I was really confident that we were going to do some things against Framber,” said Rangers manager Chris Woodward. “Now he’s got some good stuff. This guy has an elite curveball with a good two-seam seam and changes to go with it. We didn’t really chase his curveball which got us in trouble. the last time we played him, the last is we have to get the ball up.

“However, you have to find a way to get under that lead; you have to do it. We have to mature to be able (execute the game plan) if you are to survive in this league. It’s a good test and a good conversation. that we are going to have (Sunday). “

– Field level media

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