Framber Valdez struck out 10 batters in five innings to lift the host Houston Astros to a 3-2 victory over the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday in the regular-season finale for both teams.
Houston’s Christian Vazquez belted a solo homer in the seventh inning and Chas McCormick had an RBI double in the third to highlight his three-hit performance.
Valdez (17-6) allowed just two hits en route to recording his 27th quality start of the season. He exited after 88 pitches for the Astros (106-56), who will await their next opponent after earning a first-round bye in the American League playoffs.
Houston’s Bryan Abreu struck out two batters in the sixth inning and Ryne Stanek retired the side in the seventh to lower his ERA to 1.15, the lowest for a reliever in franchise history.
Phil Maton started the eighth inning and hit Dalton Guthrie with a pitch before squaring off against Nick Maton, his younger brother. Nick Maton singled to right-center field to put runners on first and second base, and Brandon Marsh’s double to right field plated Guthrie to trim the Astros’ lead to 3-1.
Rhys Hoskins added a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning for the Phillies (87-75), who visit the St. Louis Cardinals on Friday afternoon in Game 1 of their best-of-three National League wild-card series.
Ryan Pressly retired the side in order in the ninth inning to secure his 33rd save of the season.
The Astros opened the scoring in the third after Mauricio Dubon doubled off Michael Plassmeyer (0-1) to lead off the inning. He came around to score two batters later after McCormick ripped a shot into the left-field corner.
McCormick didn’t wait there for long, as he scampered home two batters later on Yordan Alvarez’s single to shallow left-center field.
Vazquez tacked on a run in the seventh after depositing a 1-2 fastball from Plassmeyer over the wall in left field. Vazquez’s homer was his ninth of the season and first since he belted two on July 22 while playing for the Boston Red Sox.
Plassmeyer permitted three runs on nine hits in six innings in relief of opener Bailey Falter.
–Field Level Media