Astros sweep away Orioles with 3-2 victory
HOUSTON (AP) — On a day that Dallas Keuchel didn’t have his best stuff, a number of other Astros stepped up to help Houston to another win.
Josh Reddick had three hits and Alex Bregman’s tiebreaking RBI single in the seventh inning lifted the Astros to the 3-2 victory over the Baltimore Orioles on Wednesday to complete a three-game sweep.
The win improves the Astros to 6-1, which ties the best start in franchise history which they also accomplished in 1987 and 1988.
Keuchel allowed five hits and two runs — one earned — with four walks in five innings. Brad Peacock (1-0) allowed two hits in three scoreless innings for the win.
“It’s nice to get a win in an otherwise pretty sluggish day for us,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “I didn’t think we were at our best on a lot of levels, but we kind of grind through the game and Dallas gets through a tough outing of his own and we piece it together and come up with the big hits.”
Miguel Castro (0-1) took over for Dylan Bundy to start the seventh and walked Derek Fisher with one out. Fisher stole second base with two outs and the Astros went on top when he scored on Bregman’s single to left field.
Reddick, who started the season 1 for 11, singled three times on Wednesday after hitting a two-run homer and a grand slam in his last two at-bats on Tuesday night.
Keuchel was relieved to have only given up two runs to give the team a chance to stay in it and get the win.
“I didn’t necessarily set the tone very well so that kind of contributed to the lackadaisical play,” he said. “But if we can scrape a win with how we played right there that’s a good sign. That means we’re a good team.”
The Orioles left 10 players on base and went 0 for 8 with runners in scoring position.
“We couldn’t get that hit and that’s a tribute to (Keuchel),” manager Buck Showalter said. “He kept us from really opening it up and kept them in the game.”
Bundy, who threw seven scoreless innings in his first start this season, allowed five hits and two runs while fanning eight in six innings.
Jonathan Schoop had three hits for the Orioles, who have lost five straight since a win on opening day. Manny Machado singled with two outs in the ninth, but Peacock struck out Schoop to end it.
The Orioles got going early in this one when Tim Beckham hit a leadoff single and Schoop singled with one out. Adam Jones reached when he hit a high popup that second baseman Jose Altuve apparently lost in the sun and allowed to drop right in front of him in the infield. Schoop was out at second on the play, but Beckham scored to make it 1-0.
Trey Mancini followed with a single, but Keuchel settled down to strike out Danny Valencia to end the inning.
Reddick singled with no outs in the second and Marwin Gonzalez followed with a double. The Astros tied it up when Reddick scored on a groundout by Jake Marisnick.
Valencia walked to start the fourth and Caleb Joseph singled with one out. The Orioles regained the lead when Craig Gentry grounded into a force out that allowed Valencia to score.
Altuve and Reddick hit consecutive singles with one out in the sixth inning before a sacrifice bunt by Gonzalez scored Altuve to tie it at 2-all.
Orioles: OF/1B Mark Trumbo, who is on the 10-day disabled list with a strained right quadriceps, is improving and will play in simulated games Wednesday and Thursday.
Astros: All-Star shortstop Carlos Correa got Wednesday off to rest a bruised big toe that he injured when he fouled a ball off his foot on Sunday. Manager A.J. Hinch expects him to be back in the lineup when Houston opens a series against San Diego on Friday.
BIRD TROUBLE IN HOUSTON
The Orioles have struggled in Houston in recent years and Wednesday marked the third straight series where they have been swept. Baltimore’s last win at Minute Maid Park was on June 4, 2015. But they haven’t just had trouble in Houston. The Astros are 11-1 in their past 12 games overall against Baltimore and have gone 14-2 in their past 16.
Orioles: Andrew Cashner (0-1, 7.20 ERA) will start for Baltimore on Thursday night when the Orioles open a four-game series with the Yankees. Cashner looks to get back on track after allowing six hits and five runs — four earned — in five innings of a 6-2 loss to Minnesota in his first start of the season.
Astros: Houston is off on Thursday before Lance McCullers (1-0, 3.38) starts in the opener of a three-game interleague series against the Padres on Friday night.
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