HOUSTON (AP) — Framber Valdez played seven strong innings and Kyle Tucker got two hits as the Houston Astros handed their first loss of the season to Nick Pivetta in a 2-1 win over the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday night.
Valdez (1-0) conceded five hits and one run, scoring 10 runs. He scored two runs in his second start of the season after missing the first two months after breaking his left index finger in spring training.
Hunter Renfro singled out Ryan Pressley in the ninth with a one-out single, before going second on a two-out single by Christian Vazquez. But pressley retired Christian Arroyo made his eighth defense.
Pivetta (6-1) conceded three hits and two runs in six innings. He scored a season-high nine runs for the second consecutive game.
Carlos Correa doubled and Yuli Guriel scored a run to help the Astros to their fourth consecutive win.
Valdez, who lasted just four innings at the start of his season on Friday, got off to a slightly shaky start on Wednesday before settling in. JD Martinez singles out with the first two outs before Xander Bogarts walks in. Rafael Devers singled out to load the base before Valdez Renfro walked in, sent home a run and gave Boston a 1-0 lead.
Valdez then came on a roll, retiring the next 11 batsmen before Arroyo singled out with one in the fifth.
Jose Altuve made a leadoff walk before Korea doubled in left field. There was one out in the innings when Piveta smacked Yordan Alvarez on the leg. The Astros tied it when Altuve scored on a sacrificial fly by Guriel. Tucker singles it to load the base, but rookie Robel Garcia dismisses it to end the innings.
Tucker doubled to start Houston’s fourth and finished third on a wild pitch. There was one out in the innings when Tucker scored on the groundout by Miles Straw, making it 2–1.
Arroyo singled out with two outs in the seventh, but Valdez ended his night by dismissing Kiki Hernandez to end the innings.
Astros: OF Michael Brantley (right hamstring pain) is feeling better and may come off the injury list on Friday. … RHP Lance McCullers Jr. (pain in right shoulder) could throw a mock game next week, but won’t come off the injured list until at least mid-June.
out of left field
Alvarez, usually Houston’s designated hitter, played left field for the first time since Game 5 of the 2019 World Series and for the 11th time in his career on Wednesday night. The Astros needed his help in Brantley’s outfield, and manager Dusty Baker said Alvarez has been practicing daily to prepare for the job.
He did not see much action and had to take only one catch on the regular fly ball in the fifth innings.
Houston’s Jake Odorizzi (0-2, 6.75 ERA) opposes Martin Perez (3-2, 3.55) as the Astros prepare to complete a series sweep on Thursday.
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