BALTIMORE—Chris Davis didn’t start Friday night’s game, and it wasn’t because he was punished for his altercation with manger Brandon Hyde during Wednesday night’s game.
Davis was sitting because the Houston Astros started a former Oriole teammate, left-hander Wade Miley.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, and the Orioles trailing 3-2, Hyde sent Davis up to pinch-hit
Davis received a mostly positive reaction but when he struck out, there were some boos. He remained in the game to play first base and made the final out as Houston beat the Orioles, 3-2.
With two outs, Jace Peterson singled against Roberto Osuna, and Davis lined out to second in the shift to end the game.
The Orioles are in the midst of a brutal stretch in which they play the New York Yankees, Astros and Boston Red Sox in 13 consecutive games. They’ve lost the first four.
Houston pitched Miley, who was 10-20 with a 5.75 ERA in 2016 and 2017, his two seasons with the Orioles. Miley is now 11-4 with a 2.99 ERA.
The Orioles did break one nagging streak. After yielding 16 home runs in three games to the Yankees, Houston didn’t hit a home run. The Orioles had allowed multiple home runs in 12 straight games, a major league record.
It was the first time since July 23 that the Orioles did not allow a home run.
“That was nice to see,” Hyde said. “I thought we really pitched well. We had our opportunities to tie it or take the lead late in the game and just didn’t get the big hit. But I thought we played well.”
The Orioles’ two runs came on home runs. Peterson hit his second against Miley in the fifth, and Stevie Wilkerson hit his ninth against Joe Smith in the seventh.
Peterson is hitting .216 in 14 games since he returned to the major leagues on July 25.
“That’s how Jace swung the bat on the road when he first got here and then he hit a few tough games,” Hyde said. “I think you saw his power the other night against New York and then tonight also to left-center field. He’s obviously a real strong guy, and a big hit in the ninth inning also. He took really good at-bats.”
With Dwight Smith Jr. and DJ Stewart on the 10-day injured list and seven-day concussion injured list, the Orioles are in need of outfielders, and Peterson has been getting some time in left
“That’s kind of what you’ve got to do,” Peterson said. “You’ve got to put up good numbers no matter where you’re at, so it definitely feels good. It was a good game tonight, and we just came up a little short.”
Hanser Alberto got three more hits and moved his average up to .318 and was relieved to see the Orioles stay competitive with the team that has the best record in the American League.
“We don’t want to [see] long balls,” he said. “We want to keep the ball in the field. I think [Dylan] Bundy did a really good job tonight. He commanded the pitches really good … [Pedro] Severino behind the plate, making good calls. That’s what we need to do.”
This weekend, the Orioles get two more difficult assignments. Aaron Sanchez, who was the starting pitcher in a combined four-pitcher no-hitter on August 3, starts against Aaron Brooks on Saturday, and Justin Verlander matches up with Asher Wojciechowski on Sunday.
Verlander is 8-1 with a 2.42 ERA in 11 starts at Oriole Park.
The loss was the Orioles’ fourth straight, and their record is 38-77.
Bundy’s night: Dylan Bundy allowed two runs on three hits in the first inning. After that Bundy, pitched five scoreless innings, giving up just two hits, but it wasn’t enough.
“I think they were just starting to put it in play earlier in the count and great defense,” Bundy said. “Couple diving plays, couple balls caught in foul territory. So defense was a factor in the low pitch count after the second inning.”
Bundy struck out six and walked one. It was the Orioles’ first quality start since July 26, when Asher Wojciechowski pitched seven innings and gave up two runs against Los Angeles.
It was Bundy’s seventh quality start and the seventh time he didn’t allow a home run. He played down the home run streak.
“I didn’t know that much about it,” Bundy said. “I heard a little something about homers every game, but ,yeah, it’s nice anytime we don’t give up a homer. So that was big.”
Ruiz returns: Third baseman Rio Ruiz was recalled by the Orioles on Friday. Ruiz was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on July 24 just before the birth of his first son.
He batted .227 with a home run and seven RBIs in five games with Norfolk and Double-A Bowie, where he was closer to his family.
Ruiz replaces David Hess, who was optioned after Wednesday’s game to the Tides. Hess is 1-10 with a 7.44 ERA.