The Washington Post

In de­feat, Bal­ti­more sees model for fu­ture


- BY NATHAN RUIZ Sports · MLB Baseball · Grapefruit League · Baseball · Baltimore · Houston Astros · Houston, TX · Houston · Baltimore Orioles · Los Angeles · Los Angeles Dodgers · Baltimore Orioles · Baltimore Orioles · The Minute Maid Company

The Bal­ti­more Ori­oles’ de­sire to model them­selves af­ter the Hous­ton Astros ties strongly to the draft-and-de­velop model that turned Hous­ton into a cham­pi­onship fran­chise. Sun­day’s se­ries fi­nale showed that the prospects ac­quired through trades could prove as valu­able as the ones Bal­ti­more adds via the draft.

Mak­ing his ma­jor league de­but for Hous­ton, Yor­dan Al­varez slugged a two-run home run for his first ca­reer hit to break a score­less tie in the Astros’ 4-0 vic­tory Sun­day at Minute Maid Park. At 21, Al­varez is only eight months older than Ad­ley Rutschman, whom the Ori­oles se­lected with the draft’s No. 1 pick Mon­day. Hous­ton ac­quired Al­varez from the Los An­ge­les Dodgers for re­liever Josh Fields in Au­gust 2016.

The Ori­oles are still wait­ing to bear fruit on their flurry of trades from last sum­mer, ac­qui­si­tions per­formed by their pre­vi­ous frontof­fice regime, but the hope is that such moves at some point pro­duce play­ers such as Al­varez.

Al­varez’s home run came two pitches af­ter Yuli Gur­riel pro­vided the Astros’ first hit off Dy­lan Bundy. But even as Bundy con­tin­ued a stretch of im­pres­sive starts, the Ori­oles could muster lit­tle against old friend Wade Mi­ley.

In a year and a half in Bal­ti­more dur­ing the 2016 and 2017 sea­sons, Mi­ley had a 5.75 ERA. He low­ered it to 3.14 this sea­son with Hous­ton.

The Ori­oles got Mi­ley out of the game in the sev­enth, load­ing the bases with no outs, but Ryan Pressly, an­other suc­cess­ful Hous­ton trade ac­qui­si­tion, re­tired the next three Bal­ti­more bat­ters to keep the game score­less.

Bal­ti­more has dropped the rub­ber game in its past five se­ries and hasn’t won one since April 22-24.

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