Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gail Burton/AP/Shutterstock (13415399f) Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve follows through on a double against the Baltimore Orioles in the first inning of a baseball game, in Baltimore. Altuve was thrown out while trying for a double Astros Orioles Baseball, Baltimore, United States – 23 Sep 2022
Win number 100 will have to wait another day for the Astros. Despite a strong outing by Jose Urquidy, Houston’s lack of offense and a disastrous inning by their bullpen led to the lopsided 6-0 loss to Baltimore Friday night.
Urquidy rebounds but gets no support
A pitchers duel ensued through the game’s first three innings, with Jose Urquidy holding the Orioles to just one hit over that span, a one-out single in the first, before retiring eight in a row. The Astros were similarly quiet at the plate over that span, getting just two hits that resulted in no runs.
Baltimore got on the board first off Urquidy in the bottom of the fourth, thanks to an Adley Rutschman solo homer leading off that half-inning, putting the Astros down 1-0. Things held there into the bottom of the sixth, with Urquidy keeping the Orioles to their lone run.
He would get one out into the inning, allowing two baserunners on a walk and a single before Dusty Baker would move on to his bullpen. Bryan Abreu entered and erased the runners, despite loading the bases on a walk, giving Urquidy a final line of 5.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 6 K, 94 P. It was a successful rebound outing for Urquidy, who allowed six earned runs in each of his previous two starts.
Baltimore puts it out of reach in the seventh
After a scoreless top of the inning by their offense, Hector Neris was the next reliever out for Houston in the bottom of the seventh. Neris struggled, allowing back-to-back singles to set up an RBI single by Terrin Vavra to double Baltimore’s lead to 2-0. Things unraveled from there, with a bunt loading the bases, then a two-run single by Cedric Mullins, making it 4-0 as Neris would leave after allowing three runs without recording an out.
Will Smith came in and finished the inning, but not before allowing two more runs to score in the five-run, six-hit inning. Phil Maton tossed a 1-2-3 bottom of the eighth, bringing Baltimore’s Dean Kremer back out in the top of the ninth to try and complete the shutout. Kremer would finish the job, with the Orioles handing the Astros their first back-to-back shutouts of the season.
News and notes
Framber seeking more quality: The third of this four-game series will get underway at 6:05 PM Central on Saturday. At 25 straight quality starts, Framber Valdez (16-5, 2.57 ERA) can match the overall consecutive record of 26 with another against the Orioles.
Back in the lineup: After leaving the game after being hit by a pitch Wednesday in Tampa Bay and missing the opener in Baltimore on Thursday, Jose Altuve was back in the lineup on Friday night.
Pitcher of the Year: Now on the major league roster, Hunter Brown was recognized by the Triple-A Sugar Land Space Cowboys as their pitcher of the year for 2022. He went 9-4 with a 2.55 ERA over 106 innings with the team this season.