Framber Valdez carried a shutout into the eighth inning while Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve drove in two runs apiece as the Houston Astros snapped a five-game losing skid with a 4-2 interleague victory over the visiting New York Mets on Tuesday
Valdez (7-5) was exceptional before the Mets finally got to him in the eighth. He was perfect through five innings and did not surrender a baserunner until No. 8 hitter Mark Canha slapped an opposite-field single to right with one out in the sixth
Valdez responded by getting Eduardo Escobar to roll into an inning-ending double play, and the left-hander entered the seventh having faced the minimum of 18 batters on 57 pitches.
However, when Tommy Pham (single) and Francisco Alvarez (double) reached in succession to open the eighth, Valdez found himself in trouble. Canha drove home Pham with a sacrifice fly and Escobar plated Alvarez with an RBI single.
Valdez limited the damage to two runs and completed eight innings. He allowed four hits and one walk and recorded nine strikeouts for his 12th quality start this season.
Astros closer Ryan Pressly earned his 13th save with a scoreless ninth
The game marked the first start against the Astros in six years for Mets right-hander Justin Verlander, who won two Cy Young Awards and two World Series titles during his five-plus seasons in Houston. Verlander (2-4) retired the first six batters before losing pace with Valdez in the third
Corey Julks smoked an opposite-field double to right leading off that frame and scored three batters later when Altuve followed Martin Maldonado's single with a sacrifice fly to center.
Bregman then produced an individual milestone, driving his 150th career home run into the left field seats for a 3-0 lead. Bregman drilled a four-seam fastball 361 feet for his 10th dinger this season.
In the seventh, the combination of Julks and Altuve bit Verlander again, with Julks opening that inning with a check-swing infield single.
Altuve delivered a two-out single that plated Julks and extended the lead to 4-0. Verlander retired Bregman for the final out of his start. The right-hander allowed four runs on eight hits, with five strikeouts, over seven innings as he remained winless over his past five starts.
--Field Level Media