WASHINGTON – Another dominant outing by the pitching staff and a first-pitch homer from Jose Altuve were all the Astros needed to keep rolling Friday night.
Framber Valdez held the Nationals to one run in 7 2/3 innings, and the Astros pounced on Washington starter Josiah Gray for five runs in the first inning, including homers by Altuve and Yuli Gurriel, to extend their winning streak to 11 games with a 6-1 win at Nationals Park.
The Astros, winners of 15 of their last 17 games, can tie the club record of 12 wins in a row with a victory Saturday night. Astros starting pitchers have allowed seven earned runs in 66 innings (0.95 ERA) during the club’s 11-game streak.
Altuve crushed the first pitch of the game and sent it over the center-field wall for his sixth homer, setting the tone of the inning. Five of the first six batters reached on hard contact, with Gurriel capping the outburst with his first homer of the season. Yordan Alvarez’s third homer in two games – and Major League lead-tying 11th on the year – put the Astros up, 6-0, in the third.