Saturday night slugfest: Astros edge out Orioles 11-10 in wild game to reach 100 wins

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Gail Burton/AP/Shutterstock (13417941j) Houston Astros’ Jose Altuve, right, celebrates his two-run home run with Maurico Dubon in the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles, in Baltimore Astros Orioles Baseball, Baltimore, United States – 24 Sep 2022

Saturday night slugfest: Astros edge out Orioles 11-10 in wild game to reach 100 wins

The Astros had not been playing up to their full potential in the first two games of this series, and at times in Saturday’s game, it looked like that was still the case.

Yet, when they needed it most, Houston’s offense came through to outslug Baltimore and took the third game of this four-game series 11-10. The win improves Houston to 100-53 on the season. 

Houston scores their first runs of the series, but Baltimore responds with big inning

After bringing across zero runs in the first twenty innings of this series, the Astros finally got on the board and took their first lead in the top of the third. Mauricio Dubón led off the inning with a single, setting up Jose Altuve two batters later, who launched a two-run homer to put Houston out in front 2-0. 

Baltimore responded in the bottom of the fourth against Framber Valdez, loading the bases on two singles and an error by shortstop Jeremy Peña. That led to a two-RBI single by Rougned Odor to tie the game, then a go-ahead RBI groundout by Jorge Mateo, making it a 3-2 deficit. The inning went even further downhill for Houston, with Cedric Mullings continuing Valdez’s rough inning with a two-run homer to extend Baltimore’s new lead to 5-2 before Valdez could finish the frame. 

The scoring frenzy continues

After his error extended the eventual five-run inning in the bottom of the fourth, Jeremy Peña was given a chance to ease the sting in the top of the fifth. He stepped into the box with the bases loaded, thanks to two singles and a walk in front of him, and delivered a one-out two-RBI single to get the Astros back within one at 5-4. 

Yordan Alvarez was next up after a Baltimore pitching change, and he made it a new game with a game-tying RBI single before Alex Bregman would get Houston back in front on a sac fly. The one-run lead was another short-lived one, though, with Valdez allowing a solo homer to Anthony Santander in the bottom of the inning to knot things up 6-6. 

Valdez’s incredible streak comes to an end

After a scoreless top half, Valdez returned to the mound in the bottom of the sixth, sitting at six runs, but only three of those earned, keeping his chance of tying the overall consecutive record of quality starts in play. Baltimore would end his streak at 25, getting a go-ahead RBI-single by Ryan Mountcastle to make it 7-6 and knocking Valdez out of the game with four earned runs. 

Phil Maton entered from Houston’s bullpen and was able to finish off the sixth. Hunter Brown made another relief appearance, coming in for the bottom of the seventh. He allowed three straight singles to start the inning but was able to strand the bases loaded and keep it a one-run game. 

Astros rally in the ninth

Yordan Alvarez helped manufacture a run in the top of the eighth to tie the game. He worked a leadoff walk, then on a double by Yuli Gurriel, appeared to run through a stop sign by third-base coach Gary Pettis and scored from first to tie the game again, 7-7. 

The Orioles yet again regained the momentum of the game, with Anthony Santander getting his second home run of the night, this one off Rafael Montero, a two-run blast to put Baltimore back in front 9-7. Houston put together a rally in the top of the ninth, getting RBI by Alex Bregman and Kyle Tucker to tie the game 9-9. 

Yuli Gurriel was next, getting a big two-run single to make it an 11-9 Houston lead. Ryan Pressly came in for the bottom of the ninth and, despite allowing a leadoff solo homer, was able to finish off the win.

News and notes

Sunday finale: this series’s fourth and final game will have a start time of 12:05 PM Central on Sunday. Cristian Javier (10-9, 2.77 ERA) will be on the mound for the Astros, opposite Austin Voth (5-3, 4.32 ERA) for the Orioles. 

Peña exits with injury: While sliding head-first into home to score in the top of the fifth, Jeremy Peña slammed his face hard into the ground and did not return to the game. The Astros call it a facial abrasion and designate him as day-to-day. 

Win number 100:  With their win, the Astros reached 100 wins on the year, making Dusty Baker one of the few managers in history to have led teams in both the NL and AL to the milestone. 

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