MLB: Framber Valdez, Astros best Angels’ Shohei Ohtani again

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Yordan Alvarez and Corey Julks slugged two-run home runs off Shohei Ohtani while Framber Valdez twirled seven shutout innings as the Houston Astros beat the visiting Los Angeles Angels 6-2 on Friday.

Valdez, who outdueled Ohtani when the two went head-to-head on May 9, was splendid again in the rematch. He gave up five hits and a walk, and he fanned seven.

Valdez (6-4) retired the Angels in order in the first, second, fifth and sixth innings, struck out Ohtani and Mike Trout after allowing a pair of baserunners in the third, and induced inning-ending double plays in the fourth and seventh innings.

Ohtani (5-2) walked one batter and struck out six in six innings, but he allowed a season-high nine hits while matching his season worst with five runs allowed.

With Houston’s Jeremy Pena on second base and one out in the first inning, Alvarez smacked a 2-2 sweeper into the seats behind the home bullpen in right-center field, a 408-foot shot that provided the Astros with a 2-0 lead. It was the 15th home run for Alvarez and the ninth allowed by Ohtani, who served up multiple homers for the fourth time this season.

Ohtani retired 10 consecutive batters following the Alvarez dinger, including striking out the side in the second.

The Astros rallied again with two outs in the fifth and built their lead to 3-0 when Alex Bregman delivered a single to left that scored Pena, who had walked. Alvarez was erased trying to advance to third, but Ohtani wasn’t as fortunate when he allowed a two-out single to Chas McCormick (3-for-4) in the sixth.

Julks followed and turned on a cutter inside and off the plate and blasted it 411 feet to left-center for his fourth home run and a 5-0 lead.

Kyle Tucker’s RBI double in the seventh made it a six-run edge.

The Angels got both of their runs in the eighth off Phil Maton. Brandon Drury and Taylor Ward (3-for-4) hit RBI singles.

–Field Level Media

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