Thanks to a pretty good performance from their pitching and a four-run rally in the eleventh inning, the Astros defeated the Orioles 6-3 (11 innings) for the second time in a row to split the final series of the season against each other. Houston finished the regular season with a 51-30 record on the road, the highest wins mark since 2018 (57).
Starter Cristian Javier put up a pitching show on Sunday afternoon with another great performance to keep his unhittable pace during the final weeks of the campaign. Javier threw six scoreless innings, allowed only one hit, didn’t walk anybody, and struck out eight hitters.
Despite not getting a decision, the young righty continued his recent hot streak. Javier has surrendered four hits and no runs with four walks and 22 strikeouts over his last 17 innings (three starts).
Speaking of his recent great run, Javier is the second starting pitcher in Astros history to go at least 10 innings and allow four or fewer hits and no runs. The other one is Justin Verlander, who did so this year. According to Stathead, there have been 12 starters in baseball history with those numbers.
However, the Astros failed to back up Javier offensively. They did crack the scoreboard in the third with a sac fly from Mauricio Dubón, but they didn’t score again until the 10th inning. In the eighth, the Orioles tied the game with a long single by Rougned Odor.
In the 10th, Yuli Gurriel made it 2-1 with a run scored after a wild pitch. But Odor immediately hit another game-tying single to leave things 2-2 and head to the 11th inning, where the Astros had their biggest offensive action.
With the ghost runner standing on second, José Altuve kicked off the inning by drawing a walk, Aledmys Díaz followed with a single, and Yordan Álvarez launched a sac fly to put the Astros ahead again 3-2.
Houston scored again with a bases-loaded walk to Kyle Tucker and added two more runs with a two-run single from Christian Vázquez.
Even though the Orioles scored once in the bottom 11th, Rafael Montero shut the door and the Astros won their 101st game of the season. In 11 total innings, the Astros allowed eight hits and only one earned run with one walk and 14 punchouts.
Between Tuesday and Wednesday, the Astros will host the Diamondbacks at Minute Maid Park for a two-game series. See you at the ballpark!