Orioles 5, Astros 4: Astros' late rally washed away in extras

Greg Fiume

Houston's rally not enough as bullpen implodes once again.

Same Astro time, same Astro channel, and same Astro story. Houston is unable to get all three phases of the game together. Collin McHugh took the mound for the Astros in Baltimore, he held the Orioles scoreless through the fifth inning. McHugh pitched through 6.1 innings, giving up a Adam Jones home run and allowed run to score on a wild pitch in the seventh which prompted his exit. Phase one, starting pitching put a quality start - check.

George Springer hit  his second home run to lead of the Astros' scoring, his parents were in the stands to see him muscle out a first-pitch dinger. Dexter Fowler was 1-for-3 with two walks in the game, his lone hit drove in the Astros' second run. Houston wouldn't score again till the ninth, Jose Altuve continued to be solid with runners on, driving Jonathan Villar and pinch runner Dallas Keuchel. (Side note, a starting pitcher is better runner than Krauss? Is his bat worth so much that you can ignore his glove and speed?)

The Astros took the lead going into the ninth, normally a momentum swing big enough to call it game. Phase two, enough offense to win the game - check.

Collin McHugh left with the game in the seventh with a 2-2 tie, Tony Sipp and Josh Zeid worked out of a bases-loaded jam to keep the game tired going in to the eighth. Zeid would give up a home run to Nelson Cruz in the eighth, who seems to have an affinity for hurting the Astros.  Anthony Bass took over for the Astros in the ninth after a 55-minute rain delay. The O's dinked, dunked, and watched borderline pitches to load the bases. Delmon Young beat out a slow chopper up the middle, Villar wasn't able to set himself for strong throw - tieing the game. The worst fact of the ninth, the O's didn't get a single square hit off Bass. Two infield singles by Jonathan Schoop and Manny Machado and a fisted line drive by Nick Markakis.

The game headed to the tenth with Paul Clemens hoping to keep the game tied. He wouldn't be able to, giving up back-to-back hits, J.J. Hardy singled and scored on a Steve Clevenger double. Phase three, bullpen closes the door, BIG FAT NO.

The Astros will have one more game to figure it out in Baltimore, Jarred Cosart (1-3) faces Chris Tillman (3-1).

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