HomeSportsHouston Astros 'special' day author Framber Valdez struck out 20 in win...

Houston Astros ‘special’ day author Framber Valdez struck out 20 in win over Los Angeles Angels

HOUSTON — Los Angeles Angels star Mike Trout went 0 for 11 with nine strikeouts in a three-game series and Los Angeles batters fanned 20 times, tying a major league record, as the Houston Astros won 4-2 for a sweep on Sunday.

Rookie Jeremy Pena homered twice, capped off with a two-out two-run drive in the ninth inning against Ryan Tepera (1-2) to win it.

“To do it on a walk-off, it’s unreal,” Pena said. “It’s always fun to walk, you get the win…and that’s awesome.”

Trout has struck seven in a row in the first two games. In the final, the three-time AL MVP reached base in his first at bat on an error by Pena at shortstop before retiring in his next two plate appearances.

Trout came out on his last at bat to extend his skid to 0 for 14. He’s having another strong season, batting .272 with 23 home runs and 47 RBIs, despite his second long slump of the year – he was the worst in a career 0 for 26 before ending that drought on June 6.

Trout was far from the only Angel to struggle at the plate as Houston starter Framber Valdez and three relievers tied the major league record for strikeouts in a nine-inning game. Twelve different Angels batters came to the plate and all of them hit at least once.

Valdez hit a career-high 13 in six innings, allowing two runs on three hits and five walks. Relievers Hector Neris and Rafael Montero each struck out twice on scoreless catches and Ryan Pressly (2-2) stoked three in the ninth.

“It’s something very emotional and very exciting for me,” Valdez said through an interpreter after the game. “It’s very special to be part of it.”

Astros manager Dusty Baker agreed.

“That’s very impressive. He was throwing shots,” Baker said referring to Valdez, and when asked about the team’s total of 20, he simply replied: “Boy, that’s is a lot.”

The 20 strikeouts are the most in a nine-inning game in Astros franchise history, according to ESPN Stats & Information research. There were several occasions when other teams pulled out 20, including performances from Max Scherzer, Roger Clemens and Kerry Wood. The Astros’ previous record was 18 in 1964 against Cincinnati.

Houston pitchers pitched 47 in the series against the Angels.

Pena had four hits. In the ninth, Jose Altuve scored a two-out single and Pena followed with his 11th homer. Pena hit a solo home run in the fourth against Jose Suarez.

Luis Rengifo hit the second homer for the Angels. Shohei Ohtani hit an RBI single in the third.

Altuve had an RBI single in the fifth that made it 2-all.

Seekers coach Bill Haselman was the Angels’ interim manager on Sunday while Ray Montgomery, who served as interim manager, and interim manager Phil Nevin served their suspensions for last week’s fight with the Angels. Mariners. Haselman will also handle Tuesday’s game while Montgomery will serve Game 2 of his suspension.

“They just have a lot of good arms there,” Haselman said. “They have a lot of good pitchers in the bullpen, and they were able to beat us today.”

Sunday was the sixth game of Nevin’s 10-game suspension. His seventh won’t come until Tuesday, when Noah Syndergaard (5-6, 3.86) takes on Sandy Alcantara (8-3, 1.96) in Game 1 of a three-game series against the Miami Marlins.

The Marlins aren’t a traditional Angels opponent, so there’s not a ton of history there, but Trout is 0-for-2 this season against Miami with two walks and two runs scored.

“Mike Trout is a future Hall of Famer. He’s coming back,” Haselman said. “It’s too long a season to ever struggle. Everyone goes through it, even the best in the game. He’s going through it right now, and we’re confident he’ll get through it.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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