HOUSTON—After Saturday’s 4-1 victory over the Houston Astros, the Orioles hoped to win consecutive games for the first time since May 4-6, their first series since April 22-24 and their first road series since April 1-3.
None of those streaks came to an end as the Orioles were shut out by the Astros, 4-0, on Sunday.
Minute Maid Park has been an awful place for the Orioles to visit. Saturday’s game broke a 10-game losing streak, and the Orioles are just 3-13 in Houston since the start of 2015.
They were shut out for the fifth time and managed just six hits against Astros starter and former Oriole Wade Miley, who left with the bases loaded and none out in the seventh.
Ryan Pressley got out of the bases-loaded jam. Hector Rondon retired the three batters he faced.
Josh James got the first two outs in the ninth, walked Jonathan Villar and Anthony Santander and was replaced by Roberto Osuna, who retired Rio Ruiz for the final out on a grounder back to the mound that symbolized the Orioles’ anemic offense.
Manager Brandon Hyde was upset that the Orioles couldn’t adjust to Miley and kept hitting balls to third baseman Alex Bregman, who fielded seven.
“A guy like Wade can really locate, and he can keep you off the barrel,” Hyde said. “When you get in a ground-ball situation he’s going to throw a cutter down and in to get you to hit a ground ball to Bregman. And that’s what we did, over and over again.
“Veteran teams do that as well. It’s not an easy thing to do. I think we were a little aggressive with our swings, especially early in the count, instead of trying to push him out over the plate.”
Hanser Alberto had three of the Orioles’ six hits, and he’s hitting .425 against left-handers, best in the majors.
On the road trip to Texas and Houston, the Orioles lost four of six even though they got quality starts in four games, including all three this series.
“I love the way our starters are throwing the ball, and getting deep in the game,” Hyde said. “I was really encouraged by our bullpen this series. I thought we pitched great this series. I thought it was our best series of the year from a pitching standpoint. It’s very encouraging going forward.”
The Orioles are 20-45 and are tied with Kansas City for the worst record in baseball. They begin a three-game series at home with Toronto on Tuesday. The Blue Jays are 23-42, three games ahead of the Orioles in the American League East.
Bundy’s day: Dylan Bundy pitched well but still took the loss. Bundy did not allow a hit until Yuli Gurriel singled with two outs in the fourth. Yordan Alaverez, making his major league debut, homered to left-center in his second at-bat on a pitch that stayed up on the outside of the plate.
Houston scored an unearned run against Bundy in the sixth when Derek Fisher reached on an error by shortstop Richie Martin. Fisher stole second, and advanced to third on Pedro Severino’s throwing error. He scored on Josh Reddick’s single.
“I thought I used a little bit more of the fastball today, a little bit less of the curveball,” Bundy said. “I didn’t have a great feel for it today, so I mainly relied on fastball, slider and split or changeup.”
It was Bundy’s seventh straight start of allowing three runs or less. His record is 3-7, and his ERA is 4.50.
“Today, he did great,” Severino said. “He just executes every pitch. We were on the same page all game. Made one mistake today when the guy hit the homer … That’s a 6-5, 6-7 guy right there extends to get a homer right there. It was my mistake right there. I mean, he executes every pitch and he does a great job.”
Repeat after me: For the first 64 games, Hyde used a different lineup. On Sunday, Hyde repeated Saturday’s lineup.
“With our roster and with the amount of inexperience we have, and we’ve been roster shuffling quite a bit, I just think it’s one of those things,” Hyde said.
“I think you’re going to continue to see different lineups over the course of the year. At some day, some point, we’ll have more of a set lineup, looking forward to that day. Where we are, you’re going to see a lot of different lineups.”
Davis sits: Chris Davis, who is 1-for-14 since he came off the 10-day injured list on June 4, didn’t play for the second straight game. Houston started left-handers in both games.
“I’m just going to pick my spots with him and try to get good matchups for him,” Hyde said.
Trumbo heating up: Mark Trumbo, who has been on a rehab assignment with Triple-A Norfolk, homered on Saturday. He did not play on Sunday.
In seven games with Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, Trumbo is batting .240 (6-for-25) with a home run and two RBIs.
Trumbo, who had surgery on his right knee last September, can stay on his rehab assignment until June 16. He’s scheduled to be evaluated by Orioles head athletic trainer Brian Ebel on Monday.
“Reports are really good,” Hyde said. “He’s running a lot better than he was in spring training … sounds like he’s recovering well.”