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Astros’ Framber Valdez goes back to work vs. Angels


Houston Astros left-hander Framber Valdez has dominated the Los Angeles Angels in his two previous starts this season

He’s scheduled to face them again on Saturday night in the middle contest of a three-game series in Anaheim, Calif., and he’ll be coming off six days of rest this time around.

Valdez (7-6, 2.51 ERA) hasn’t pitched since allowing two runs and five hits in six innings of 3-2 win against the Seattle Mariners last Saturday.

He was selected to the American League All-Star team, but he and manager Dusty Baker decided he would sit it out. He was replaced by Toronto Blue Jays closer Jordan Romano.

“You can’t risk Framber on two or three days’ rest for an exhibition game,” Baker said last Sunday. “I know it’s important, but our season is far more important than an All-Star Game. It’s an honor to maybe start, but if he keeps pitching in the groove he’s in, he’ll have three or four opportunities to start in the future. Right now, we’ve got to take care of Framber.”

Valdez outdueled Shohei Ohtani on May 9 in Anaheim, allowing one run and three hits in eight innings of the 3-1 victory. He beat the Angels again on June 2, shutting them out for seven innings in the 6-2 win in Houston

He has made 17 appearances against the Angels in his career, including 13 starts, and is 9-4 with a 3.46 ERA

The Angels plan to counter with left-hander Reid Detmers

Like many of the Angels, Detmers was sharp in the month of June, going 1-1 in five starts with a 2.05 ERA

Detmers (2-6, 4.31) was also solid in his first start of July, limiting the Arizona Diamondbacks to two runs in six innings. He took a step back in his most recent outing last Saturday, however, surrendering seven runs and six hits in 3 1/3 innings of a 10-5 loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He has made five career starts against the Astros and owns a 1-2 mark and 4.62 ERA

The Angels had a few positives come out of their 7-5 loss to the Astros in the series opener on Friday night, their season-high sixth straight defeat

Zach Neto returned after missing 21 games with an oblique strain and the Los Angeles shortstop drove in a run with a groundout.

Michael Stefanic was recalled from Triple-A Salt Lake on Friday and he also delivered an RBI single in his first at-bat to give the Angels an early lead

On the negative side, Angels manager Phil Nevin benched starting third baseman Luis Rengifo after he booted a high chopper from Jose Abreu in the fifth inning and then didn’t hustle after the ball, allowing another run to score and Abreu to reach second base

“I’m never going to have a problem with mistakes,” Nevin said. “It’s what happens after the mistake. The next play is too damn important for our team, and for the player and for our fans, quite frankly, to let those plays affect us, and that’s what I thought happened on the Rengifo play.”

–Field Level Media


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