Houston Astros unable to hang on late, fall 3-2 to Orioles


3. 11. 2. 135. Final

Jones HR lifts O’s past Astros

Adam Jones connected on home run No. 7 to left field in the top half of the eighth off Chad Qualls, helping the Baltimore Orioles avoid the four-game sweep in the 3-2 win over the Houston Astros Thursday afternoon.

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Baltimore got things going in the very first inning of the ballgame, tagging starter Dallas Keuchel with an early run on an RBI single to right field off the bat of designated hitter Chris Davis, giving his team the 1-0 lead.

Kuechel (7-1, 1.85 ERA) followed up his four-hit complete game with yet another solid outing, holding the opposing team to only two earned runs behind six hits with one walk and seven strikeouts in six innings of work.

The 27-year-old hurler issued a lead-off walk to Everth Cabrera in the third inning but was able to get out of the inning with a strikeout following a two-out single by Jones.

Catcher Hank Conger later tied things up at one apiece on a towering solo blast to left center field off Wei-Yin Chen – his third long ball of the year to back up his starting pitcher.

Luis Valbuena – who went deep in the previous two games – gave his team the 2-1 lead on a sacrifice fly to right fielder Delmon Young, allowing Evan Gattis to cross home plate in the fourth.

Prior to scoring on the sacrifice, Gattis singled on a ball that deflected off the glove of infielder Manny Machado with Chris Carter due up next. Carter followed up Gattis’s hit with a ball that bounced off the wall in left field, extending his hitting streak to 12-games while recording his fifth double of the season.

Jonathan Villar struck out on a foul tip moments later.

Wei-Yin Chen (1-4, 3.18 ERA) nearly matched Keuchel pitch-for-pitch, holding Houston to two earned runs on six hits with two walks and nine strikeouts in 6 1/3 frames. He would be pulled from the game after issuing a lead-off walk and a double to Conger in the seventh, handing things over to reliever Darren O’Day.

Closer Zach Britton entered the game in the eighth, eventually recording the five-out save to salvage the series finale.

Houston will begin a six-game road trip starting with Toronto Blue Jays tomorrow evening. Skipper A.J. Hinch will send Roberto Hernandez (2-4, 4.92 ERA) to the mound opposite Aaron Sanchez (4-4, 3.88 ERA) with the first pitch slated for 6:07 p.m. central time.

Next: Hinch Picked For All-Star Coaching Staff