HOUSTON (AP) — Framber Valdez pitched seven solid innings and Jeremy Peña and Yainer Diaz had three RBIs apiece to give the Houston Astros a 8-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sunday and complete a three-game sweep.

“That’s Astros baseball right there,” manager Joe Espada said. “That’s what we expect from our team. … We did so many things so well. That was a series we needed as a club.”

It’s just the second time the Orioles have been swept this season after losing three in a row to the Cardinals from May 20-22.

Valdez (6-5) allowed six hits and a run with seven strikeouts in seven innings to bounce back after consecutive losses.

He said sweeping a team like the Orioles was important for the Astros, who are trying to recover after a tough start to the season.

“It feels good,” Valdez said in Spanish through a translator. “It is just a good sign that we’re doing well, we’re getting better and … we’re getting to the spot where we want to be, which is No. 1.”

Jose Altuve hit a leadoff homer as the Astros jumped on Albert Suárez (3-2) for four runs in the first. Alex Bregman had a season-high four hits for Houston, which extended its winning streak to five games.

“They’re a great ballclub and they’ve got a great pitching staff,” Bregman said. “But we swung the bat really well today and all series long and was very proud of the effort and the preparation of the guys and we’ve got to keep that rolling.”

Jordan Westburg homered for a second straight game to extend Baltimore’s franchise-record streak of games with a home run to 22. But the Orioles couldn’t do much else offensively as they managed just one run for a second straight game.

“We’ve just got to flush this one,” manager Brandon Hyde said of the series. “Not a whole lot went right. We need to let this one go.”

Suárez allowed a career-high 10 hits and tied a career most with five runs in five innings.

“There were some balls just in the middle part of the plate there early in the count that they were really aggressive on and did some damage on him early,” Hyde said. “I thought he did a decent job after that, but they were squaring balls up in that inning.”

Bryan King struck out one in a scoreless eighth for Houston in his major league debut and Luis Contreras allowed one hit in his debut in the ninth.

Altuve sent Suárez’s first pitch out of the park for his 38th career leadoff homer to make it 1-0. Bregman doubled and scored on a one-out single by Diaz.

Peña doubled to drive in Diaz and extend the lead to 3-0. Mauricio Dubón made it 4-0 with his RBI single on a line drive to center field.

César Salazar hit a single to open Houston’s fourth before a one-out double by Bregman. The Orioles intentionally walked Yordan Alvarez to load the bases and a sacrifice fly by Diaz left Houston up 5-0.

Colton Cowser singled with one out in the fifth, but was erased when Adley Rutschman grounded into a force out. Ryan Mountcastle singled after that, but Anthony Santander also grounded into a forceout to end the inning.

Westburg’s home run came with one out in the sixth to cut the lead to 5-1.

Bregman singled with one out in the sixth and a single by Diaz came with two outs in the inning. They both scored when Peña smacked a double to left-center field to make it 7-1.

Altuve and Bregman hit consecutive singles to start the eighth and Altuve scored on a sacrifice fly by Diaz with two outs to extend the lead to 8-1.

UP NEXT

Orioles: LHP Cade Povich (0-1, 3.94 ERA) starts for Baltimore in the opener of a three-game series with Cleveland on Monday night.

Astros: Houston is off Monday before starting a two-game series with the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday night.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/hub/mlb

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