O’s free fall con­tin­ues with sixth loss in a row


The Washington Post Sunday - - SPORTS - BY ED­UARDO A. ENCINA

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.

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