Baltimore Orioles: Houston we have a problem

The Baltimore Orioles have never played well against Houston – at least since the ‘stros have come to the American League. It’s somewhat reminiscent of games with Tampa from years ago. Houston has hitters that refuse to give in at the plate, and will sit there fouling pitch after pitch off to stay alive. That eventually wears down your pitching. On the flip side, their pitching in turn seemingly wears down your hitting.

As a power team, the Orioles are impatient at times. And in reality, there’s nothing truly wrong with that. However as a result they’re suseptible to pitchers who are good at fooling hitters – like Houston’s Keuchel was last night. Wade Miley found himself in a struggle early on against Houston’s lineup, who as I said fouls off pitch after pitch – after pitch. Miley’s line: 5.0 IP, 8 H, 4 R, 3 BB, 2 K.

The way that Houston wins games is by getting little one and two-run leads early on and hunkering down. Sure enough, they got an RBI-double by Altuve, and an infield RBI-single by Correa in the first inning to take a 2-0 lead. The Correa single had a shot at being an out, but it was hit so hard that it careemed off of Chris Davis glove at first. By the time the Orioles recovered, the runner was safe and the run had crossed the plate.

The O’s were able to attempt a comeback in this game, unlike Friday night’s, however. Welington Castillo‘s RBI-single in the third cut the lead in half at 2-1. But the last of the third brought several elongated at-bats, which drove Miley’s pitch count up. Sure enough one inning later, Springer took advantage of that and smacked a two-run homer which ran the Houston lead to 4-1.

The Birds would net a second run following a Davis triple in the seventh, when he (Davis) was able to score on a wild pitch. However Correa’s RBI-single in the botto of the inning put the lead back to three at 5-2, which is how the game ended. The best the O’s can do now is salvage a game in this series this afternoon, and they’ve now lost six straight games.

I’ll never understand how teams dedicated to in essence piecemealing runs together here and there can defeat a power lineup like that of the Orioles. After Houston took a 1-0 lead on Friday night, I tweeted that it might be all they needed. Sure enough, they won the game 2-0. Somehow it defies logic.

Adam Jones was out of the lineup last night with a sore hip and ankle. He apparently sustained these injuries in Detroit, and they had progressively bothered him. The Orioles are hoping that a day or two out of the lineup will help him to heal without having to send him to the DL.

The series concludes this afternoon at Minute Maid Park. Alec Asher will get the start for the O’s (with Jimenez now in the bullpen), and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Lance McCullers Jr. Game time is set for just after 2 PM.

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