Aces duel as Giants, Astros conclude series

Jun 12, 2024, 6:58 AM

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 07: Logan Webb #62 of the San Francisco Giants pitches in the top...

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

(Photo by Lachlan Cunningham/Getty Images)

Two of the top pitchers in their respective leagues go head to head for the second consecutive season when Framber Valdez and the Houston Astros close out a three-game set against Logan Webb and the host San Francisco Giants on Wednesday afternoon.

The clubs have split the first two contests of the low-scoring series, with the Astros blowing a two-run, 10th-inning lead en route to a 4-3 loss in the opener before holding on for a 3-1 win on Tuesday.

Valdez (5-3, 3.53 ERA) and Webb (5-5, 2.92) know all about low-scoring affairs. They dueled for five scoreless innings last May in Houston before the Giants got to Valdez for two runs in the sixth. That’s all the visitors got against the left-hander, but they managed two more runs against the Astros’ bullpen for a 4-2 win.

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Webb also allowed two runs, but neither came until the Giants held a 3-0 lead in the eighth. He was credited with the win, while Valdez got the loss.

Both pitchers also faced their Wednesday opponent within two days of one another in 2021 and, coincidentally, each again allowed two runs.

Valdez has faced the Giants just those two times, going 1-1 with a 3.27 ERA.

Webb has gone up against Houston three times, posting a 2-1 record with a 3.18 ERA.

In their second head-to-head matchup, Valdez will be coming off a complete game against the Angels on Friday in Anaheim, Calif. He earned the win by holding Los Angeles to just one run on four hits with one walk and eight strikeouts.

Webb also pitched on Friday, going seven innings and allowing two runs and five hits in a 5-2 road win over the Texas Rangers. He struck out six without issuing a walk. It was the 10th time in 14 starts this season that the right-hander gave up two earned runs or fewer.

Among the Astros getting another shot at Webb in the series finale will be Mauricio Dubon, who is 7-for-20 (.350) in his past five games vs. San Francisco. Dubon went 1-for-3 against Webb last year.

Dubon had two hits and scored twice in Houston’s win on Tuesday, getting some revenge against the franchise that didn’t give him much playing time in parts of four seasons before he was dealt to Houston in May 2022.

The utility man made it clear on Tuesday that he only felt wronged by those in charge during his time with the Giants.

“It was tough, and I’ve never had a problem with the organization or the fans, even after all the mistakes that I made — baserunning, fielding, everything,” Dubon said. “I was treated the right way by some people, except for the people making the decisions.”

San Francisco decision-makers thought Jorge Soler would help fill any void Dubon and others have left in recent years when he was signed as a free agent in the offseason. However, his 0-for-2 showing with a walk and two strikeouts on Tuesday dropped his batting average to .209.

“It wears on you,” Giants manager Bob Melvin said. “He cares. He wants to be that guy. To this point, he hasn’t been the run-producer that he wants to be. He just needs a couple of good games, get some confidence. There’s a lot more in there.”

–Field Level Media

Upcoming schedule for the San Francisco Giants

  • Monday, June 10th-Wednesday, June 12th – vs. Houston Astros
  • Friday, June 14-Sunday, June 16th – vs. Los Angeles Angels
  • Monday, June 17th-Wednesday, June 19th – @ Chicago Cubs
  • Thursday, June 20th-Sunday, June 23rd – @ St. Louis Cardinals
  • Monday, June 24th-Thursday, June 27th – vs. Chicago Cubs

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