HOUSTON (AP) — Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run homer off Shohei Ohtani for a major league-best 50 RBIs, backing a strong start by Framber Valdez in the Houston Astros’ 6-2 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night.
Valdez (6-4) scattered five hits across seven scoreless innings to extend his winning streak to four games. The left-hander, who fanned seven, has allowed just one run combined in his last three starts to lower his ERA to 2.16.
There was one out in the first when Alvarez connected on his team-leading 15th home run to make it 2-0. Rookie Corey Julks added a two-run shot off Ohtani (5-2) in the sixth to push the lead to 5-0.
Ohtani yielded a season-high nine hits and tied a season high with five runs in six innings for his second loss this year. Batting leadoff for the first time this season, the two-way star also had a tough night at the plate, going 0 for 4 with two strikeouts and a walk.
Taylor Ward had three hits and drove in a run in the eighth inning for the Angels as they fell to 0-2 in the four-game series.
Chas McCormick had three hits and Kyle Tucker added two hits and an RBI for the Astros.
Jeremy Peña singled with one out in the first and moved to second on a throwing error by Gio Urshela on the play. A wild pitch by Ohtani sent him to third before Alvarez’s shot to the seats behind the bullpen in right-center made it 2-0.
Tucker, José Abreu and Chas McCormick hit consecutive singles to load the bases with two outs in the fourth.
But Ohtani retired Julks on a groundout to leave everybody stranded.
Peña walked with two outs in the fifth and Alvarez singled. Alex Bregman then hit a line drive to left field to score Peña, but Alvarez got caught between second and third to end the inning.
Ohtani ran into trouble again with two outs in the sixth when McCormick singled on a grounder. Julks followed with a shot to center field that pushed the lead to 5-0.
Tucker added an RBI double with two outs in the seventh to make it 6-0.
Brandon Drury and Ward hit back-to-back RBI singles with two outs in the eighth to cut the lead to 6-2.
Angels: Shortstop Zach Neto was hit with a pitch on the left foot in the third inning. He remained in the game for a few innings before being replaced Luis Rengifo in the bottom of the sixth with soreness on the foot where he was plunked.
Houston RHP Cristian Javier (6-1, 2.97) opposes LHP Patrick Sandoval (3-4, 3.42) when the series continues Saturday.
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