The Oriole Park at Camden Yards is turning into a nightmare place for the Astros. On Friday night, they were shut out for the second consecutive game, something that has happened only six times in the last 10 years. This time, Houston lost 6-0 and was limited to only four hits by opponent starter Dean Kremer, who went the distance for the first time in his career.
Kremer absolutely outpitched José Urquidy. The latter, whose record is now at 13-8, allowed three hits and one earned run over 5 1/3 innings but it was actually Kremer’s night. The 26-year-old righty threw 70 of his 106 pitches for strikes and surrendered only four hits (three singles) while giving up two walks and striking out six hitters.
The Astros, who registered two hits on Thursday’s scoreless loss, had José Altuve as the only hitter to record two basehits (2-for-4, with a double). Yordan Álvarez and Chas McCormick were the other two with a knock. Álvarez reached base thrice, thanks also to drawing two walks.
According to Stathead, this is only the third time since 2012 that the Astros have gone scoreless in a two-game span and have registered six or fewer hits combined. That also happened back in 2013 (vs Rays) and 2021 (vs Yankees).
Urquidy and Kremer found themselves in a beautiful pitcher’s duel with a scoreless scoreboard until the fourth, when the Astros starter gave up a solo shot to youngster Adley Rutschman. The game remained 1-0 until the bottom of the seventh inning, when they hit three run-scoring singles and an RBI double to make it 6-0.
The Astros, looking for their 100th win of the year (99), still have a chance not to lose the four-game series. On Saturday, both teams will play the third one. Framber Valdez will try to keep going his historic streak of quality starts while rookie Mike Baumann is announced to make his second career start in the Majors.