Robel Garcia delivered a bases-clearing double while Framber Valdez recorded his fourth consecutive winning decision as the Houston Astros clinched their four-game series against the visiting Chicago White Sox with a 7-3 victory on Saturday.
The Astros have won 15 of 19 games and will pursue a sweep of their six-game homestand Sunday. The White Sox, meanwhile, have dropped three consecutive games for the first time since suffering a three-game road sweep against the New York Yankees May 21-23.
Garcia struck the biggest blow in the Astros’ four-run third inning against White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn (7-3), driving a 3-2 fastball to the base of the wall in right field with two outs and a full count. Michael Brantley, whose RBI single plated Jose Altuve and lifted the Astros to a 2-1 lead, Yordan Alvarez and Carlos Correa scored as the Astros extended to a four-run advantage.
Lynn entered his 13th start of the season with a 1.51 ERA, third in the majors. But after uncorking a wild pitch in the first inning that scored Altuve and surrendering the three-run double to Garcia in the third, Lynn allowed an RBI double to Brantley in the fourth that drove home Myles Straw. Lynn was 0-5 with a 5.45 ERA in his previous five starts at Minute Maid Park and didn’t fare any better Saturday, allowing six runs (five earned) on seven hits over four innings.
Valdez (4-0) was the beneficiary of the run support but wavered throughout his seven innings on the mound. He retired the White Sox in order only twice, in the first and sixth, and surrendered multiple baserunners in the second, third and seventh en route to a season-high 108 pitches.
Valdez surrendered a two-out, run-scoring double to Yoan Moncada that allowed the White Sox to pull even at 1-1 in the third. That came an inning after he struck out Leurys Garcia to strand a pair of runners and an inning before he worked around a two-out walk to Andrew Vaughn.
Vaughn smacked a leadoff homer off Valdez in the seventh and Danny Mendick scored on a throwing error by catcher Martin Maldonado to cut the deficit to three runs. But Valdez recorded two fly-ball outs to close that frame and Correa added his 13th home run leading off the eighth.
Valdez allowed three runs (two earned) on six hits and two walks with five strikeouts plus three wild pitches.
–Field Level Media