Framber Valdez threw the 16th no-hitter in Houston Astros history in a 2-0 victory over the Cleveland Guardians on Tuesday night.
Hours after the Astros reacquired ace Justin Verlander from the New York Mets, Valdez allowed just one baserunner on a walk in the fifth inning, but still faced the minimum thanks to a double play in that frame.
Gabriel Arias grounded out to start the ninth before Myles Straw lined out to centre field. Cam Gallagher then lined out to Jeremy Pena to end it and set off the celebration.
Valdez (9-7) raised his arms above his head and then clapped as a huge smile crossed his face. He’s the first left-hander to throw a no-hitter for Houston.
Framber Valdez is the first lefty in <a href=” history to throw a no-hitter. <a href=”https://t.co/8uspLTGXS0″>pic.twitter.com/8uspLTGXS0</a>
The 29-year-old from the Dominican Republic had pitched five complete games, including two complete game shutouts before Tuesday’s gem.
The no-hitter was the third in the majors this season. New York Yankees right-hander Domingo German pitched a perfect game at Oakland on June 28, and Matt Manning, Alex Lange and Jason Foley of the Detroit Tigers threw a combined no-no against Toronto on July 8.
It’s Houston’s first no-hitter in the regular season since Cristian Javier, Hector Neris and Ryan Pressly combined to no-hit the Yankees on June 25, 2022, and the first by a single pitcher since Verlander against Toronto on Sept. 1, 2019.
Valdez retired the first 12 batters, with six strikeouts. Arias grounded out to start the sixth before a lineout by Straw. Gallagher then grounded out to end the sixth.
Valdez retired all threw batters in the seventh on groundouts. The first two were routine. But Valdez deflected a high chopper hit by Jose Ramirez and Pena’s throw to first barely beat Ramirez there for the third out.
Valdez struck out Gonzalez to start the eighth and retired David Fry and Will Brennan on groundouts to end the inning.
Valdez threw 93 pitches, with 65 strikes.
The strong start comes after he allowed eight hits and six runs — both season highs — in 3 2/3 innings of a 13-5 loss to Texas in his last outing.