Astros’ Framber Valdez throws no-hitter vs Guardians on 93 pitches


Valdez threw the sixteenth no-hitter in Houston Astros historical past.

Houston Astros beginning pitcher Framber Valdez warms up earlier than the fifth inning of a baseball sport in opposition to the Cleveland Guardians, Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023, in Houston. (AP Photograph/Kevin M. Cox) Kevin M. Cox/AP Photograph

HOUSTON (AP) — Framber Valdez was decided to enhance this month after a subpar July the place he posted a 7.29 ERA.

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On the primary day of August he actually did that.

Valdez threw the sixteenth no-hitter in Houston Astros historical past in a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night time.

“The final couple of video games I simply wasn’t as targeted as I may have been and I’ll be the primary to confess that,” Valdez stated in Spanish via a translator. “However as we speak I simply got here very targeted, very constructive and simply prepared to depart all of it out on the sphere.”

Hours after the Astros reacquired ace Justin Verlander from the New York Mets, Valdez allowed only one baserunner on a stroll within the fifth inning, however nonetheless confronted the minimal because of a double play in that body. He threw 93 pitches, with 65 strikes.

“It’s an exquisite day,” supervisor Dusty Baker stated. “(Valdez) began out with a bang. He had his breaking ball from the very starting … and you could possibly inform he was on and he stayed on.”

Gabriel Arias grounded out to begin the ninth earlier than Myles Straw lined out to heart subject. Cam Gallagher then lined out to Jeremy Pena to finish it and set off the celebration.

Valdez (9-7) raised his arms above his head after which clapped as an enormous smile crossed his face. He’s the primary left-hander to throw a no-hitter for Houston.

“After I acquired to the seventh inning I assumed to myself, ‘OK, I can end this sport with none hits,’” Valdez stated. “Bought to the eighth inning and nonetheless felt good, felt prefer it was nonetheless the primary inning so I stated. `I’m simply going to proceed attacking the hitters, making an attempt to do my finest on the market.’”

The 29-year-old from the Dominican Republic had pitched 5 full video games, together with two full sport shutouts earlier than Tuesday’s gem.

Catcher Martín Maldonado caught the third no-hitter of his profession. He stated he may inform from Valdez’s warmup that he would have a very good night time.

“I observed from the bullpen, he wasn’t joking round,” Maldonado stated. “He was straight enterprise from the second he walked on the market.”

Maldonado had a easy reply as to what made Valdez so particular Tuesday night time.

“Simply Framber being Framber,” he stated.

Certainly, Valdez depends closely on getting groundouts, and this sport was no completely different. Valdez entered the sport first within the AL in groundball proportion at 54.7 and 12 of his outs in opposition to the Guardians had been on groundouts.

“It’s simple to see the two-seam motion, however his curveball — man simply so good and he threw a pair changeups,” Cleveland supervisor Terry Francona stated. “However his curveball was actually good.”

The no-hitter was the third within the majors this season. New York Yankees right-hander Domingo Germán pitched an ideal sport at Oakland on June 28, and Matt Manning, Alex Lange and Jason Foley of the Detroit Tigers threw a mixed no-no in opposition to Toronto on July 8.

It’s Houston’s first no-hitter within the common season since Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly mixed to no-hit the Yankees on June 25, 2022, and the primary by a single pitcher since Verlander in opposition to Toronto on Sept. 1, 2019.

The Astros made the transfer for Verlander as they chase the Texas Rangers for first place within the AL West. Texas beat the White Sox 2-0 on Tuesday to depart Houston a half-game again.

Baker thought it was particular that Valdez threw the primary particular person no-hitter for the Astros since Verlander’s on the day Verlander was traded again to Houston.

“It was kind of destined to be,” Baker stated. “And I’m certain Justin is smiling proper now on his means right here and he’ll be the primary one to congratulate Framber when he will get right here. It’s an amazing day.”

Javier additionally began a mixed no-hitter in Sport 4 of final yr’s World Collection in opposition to the Phillies on Nov. 2, 2022. Bryan Abreu, Rafael Montero and Pressly additionally pitched in that sport.

Kyle Tucker supplied the offense on this one with a two-run single within the third inning.

Valdez retired the primary 12 batters, with six strikeouts, earlier than Oscar Gonzalez walked to open the fifth. However Valdez nonetheless confronted the minimal in that inning because of that double play.

Arias grounded out to begin the sixth earlier than a lineout by Straw. Gallagher then grounded out to finish the sixth.

Valdez retired all three batters within the seventh on groundouts. The primary two had been routine. However Valdez deflected a excessive chopper hit by José Ramírez and Pena’s throw to first barely beat Ramírez there for the third out.

Valdez struck out Gonzalez to begin the eighth and retired David Fry and Will Brennan on groundouts to finish the inning.

The sturdy begin comes after he allowed eight hits and 6 runs — each season highs — in 3 2/3 innings of a 13-5 loss to Texas in his final outing.

Jake Meyers singled to begin Houston’s third however was caught stealing after Maldonado struck out.

Jose Altuve singled and Jeremy Peña walked earlier than a wild pitch by Williams allowed each runners to advance a base.

Tucker then singled to heart subject to ship each runners house and put the Astros up 2-0.

Cleveland’s rookie starter Gavin Williams (1-3) allowed 4 hits and two runs in 5 innings for the loss.

Josh Bell was initially in Cleveland’s lineup Tuesday however was scratched after the workforce made a late deal to ship him to Miami for infielder Jean Segura and infield prospect Kahlil Watson.


RHP Tanner Bibee (7-2, 3.11 ERA) begins for Cleveland within the sequence finale Wednesday. Houston hasn’t introduced a starter.