HOUSTON (AP) — Jose Altuve homered to cap a seven-run eighth inning, Framber Valdez grinded through six gritty innings and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 11-2 Sunday.
Alex Bregman, Abraham Toro, Josh Reddick and Altuve all drove in runs in the eighth. Altuve’s homer was his 24th, tying a career high.
Michael Brantley led off the eighth with a single, extending his hitting streak to 18 games. Reddick’s two-run double gave him three RBIs.
Houston has won seven of eight. The club entered the day tied with the Yankees for the best record in the AL at 84-47.
Valdez was called up from Triple-A Round Rock and earned his first win since June 15, ending a streak of four-straight losses. The eight strikeouts tied a season high.
Valdez (4-6) gave up one run, two hits and five walks but struck out eight.
Valdez ran into trouble in the third, loading the bases with no outs. Back-to-back strikeouts and then a groundout by Albert Pujols kept the Angels off the board.
Martin Maldonado hit a two-run homer in the seventh to extend the lead to 4-1.
Jaime Barria (4-7) only gave up two runs but still was stuck with his fourth-straight loss. Barria allowed three hits, struck out four and walked three in 5 1/3 innings.
Andrelton Simmons and Brian Goodwin hit solo home runs for the Angels.
Angels: INF Tommy La Stella (right tibia fracture) resumed baseball activities Saturday. La Stella took some ground balls, hit off the tee and did soft toss.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa (lower back stiffness) did agility work and light running but is still not hitting or throwing, manager AJ Hinch said. The Astros hope to increase his activity over the coming days including being able to do batting practice and fielding ground balls. … Aledmys Díaz (foot) was set to continue his rehab assignment with Triple-A Round Rock on Sunday, splitting time between shortstop and third base. Hinch said he could be reactivated by Tuesday.
Angels: LHP Andrew Heaney (3-3, 4.31 ERA) will start the series opener against the Rangers on Tuesday after a day off. Heaney is looking to build off his last start, where he struck out a career-high 14 in eight innings, which came against the Rangers.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (15-5, 2.77 ERA) will start the series opener against the Rays on Tuesday after a day off. Verlander is coming off a complete-game loss to the Tigers where he struck out 11 and walked none. Former Astros RHP Charlie Morton (13-5, 2.85) is slated to pitch for Tampa Bay.