O’s free fall continues with sixth loss in a row
ASTROS 5, ORIOLES 2
houston — The Baltimore Orioles’ struggles suddenly have them closer to the American League East cellar than first place, which they occupied at least a share of for 35 days in the season’s first two months.
They suffered their sixth straight loss and 12th in 15 games, 5-2, against the Houston Astros on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. The Orioles (25-22) scored three runs or fewer for the fifth time in six games.
With the loss, the Orioles fell 31/2 games behind the first-place New York Yankees. Baltimore is just three games ahead of the lastplace Toronto Blue Jays.
In a lineup without center fielder Adam Jones (sore left ankle and hip), the top five hitters in the Orioles’ batting order — Joey Rickard, Welington Castillo, Manny Machado, Mark Trumbo and Chris Davis — combined to go 5 for 20 with 10 strikeouts. Baltimore finished with seven hits overall.
Houston lefty Dallas Keuchel (8-0) held the Orioles to one run on four hits over six innings. The only run against him came in the third, when Castillo hit a two-out RBI single.
The Orioles scored their only other run when Davis capitalized on his first triple since Sept. 21, 2013 — a ball that hit off the rightcenter fence and caromed toward center field — by scoring on a James Hoyt wild pitch in the seventh.
Orioles left-hander Wade Miley (1-3) failed to get beyond the fifth inning for the fourth time in five healthy starts (not counting his two-thirds of an inning when he was pulled after being hit by two comebackers in the first). He allowed four runs on eight hits and three walks.
Miley allowed two runs during a 24-pitch first inning, but it wasn’t entirely his fault. After he allowed a leadoff single to George Springer, Jose Altuve lined a ball to center that Rickard misplayed and let bounce to the wall for an RBI double. Carlos Correa then followed with a sharply hit ball that caromed off Davis’s mitt to second baseman Jonathan Schoop. But the throw was wild, allowing another run to score.
Miley also yielded a two-run homer to Springer in the fourth that ended up being the difference in the game. Springer took a 3-1 fastball an estimated 447 feet to left field.