Houston, we have George Springer. The hot-hitting outfielder for the young Astros continues to demolish the baseball in a month that has him shattering records. His 2-run frozen rope to the Crawford Boxes, a wish by a kid prior to the game, was the difference maker in the Astros 3-1 win over the Baltimore Orioles.
The Astros have been on fire lately in terms of their offense. The pitching has been superb as well. Tonight’s matchup against the Orioles featured a pitchers’ duel for six innings. Brad Peacock and Ubaldo Jimenez pretty much matched each other pitch for pitch.
In the second inning, a pair of walks sandwiched a hit to load the bases full of Astros. Robbie Grossman swung at a pitch in the dirt, which got away from catcher Nick Hundley. An extremely close play at the plate followed as Jason Castro was called safe to score the first run of the game. After a fairly lengthy challenge from O’s manager Buck Showalter, the call on the field eventually stood.
Peacock responded to the 1-0 lead with a quick 3 up and 3 down top of the third. His first dose of trouble came in the top of the fourth inning. After a leadoff double by Steve Pearce, Nelson Cruz had an RBI single to tie the game at 1 apiece.
Ubaldo worked out of several minor jams throughout the game as he stranded 7 runners in his six innings.
The top of the sixth inning was the last for the Astros starter. Baltimore managed to get runners on first and third, but with two outs, Peacock was able to work out of the jam unscathed and keep the game tied at one. Overall Brad threw six innings with 0 walks, 8 strikeouts, and 6 hits allowed in his audition to stay in the Astros rotation.
The MLB leader in hits, Jose Altuve, went 3×4 in the game and stole 2nd base twice. Following a one-out single in the seventh inning by Altuve, George Springer did what he has done in 5 of the 6 games prior: hit a home run. His tenth home run of his career which was also the tenth for his month of May — best by an Astros rookie.
Josh Fields earned the win, throwing two scoreless innings with 3 strikeouts. Chad Qualls was called upon for the 9th inning, with “Killing in the Name of” as his entry song, and shut the Orioles down for his 4th save of the season.