Houston’s Framber Valdez pitches a 2-hit complete game

Astros beat the Athletics 5-1

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Yordan Álvarez hit a pair of no-doubt homers, Framber Valdez pitched a two-hitter for a rare complete game and the Houston Astros beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1 on Monday.

After being held to five runs the previous four games, the Astros’ bats woke up against Oakland ace Paul Blackburn (5-1).

Álvarez hit a 469-foot drive to give Houston its first run in the fourth against Blackburn and added a 444-foot shot to nearly the same spot in the eighth off A.J. Puk for his 14th homer of the season.

Jose Altuve also went deep with a two-run homer in the fifth that was the 174th of his career, tied with George Springer for fifth most ever by a Houston player.

That was more than enough support for Valdez (5-2), who threw just the seventh nine-inning complete game in the majors this season. He struck out seven, walked three and threw 114 pitches in the longest outing in his five-year career.

The A’s have lost seven of 10 and trail the Astros by 12 games in the AL West, their biggest deficit in the division since being 12 back on June 16, 2019.