BALTIMORE—The Houston Astros are playing like they’re the best team in baseball. In the past three games, the Orioles offered no resistance.
In the three games, the Orioles were outscored, 26-3. They came close to being no-hit on Monday and were overmatched in each game.
On Wednesday night, José Urquidy limited them to just three hits in seven innings as Houston completed the three-game sweep, extending their winning streak to 10 with a 13-0 win before an announced crowd of 10,013 at Oriole Park.
The loss was the Orioles’ 13th in 14 games. As they start a 10-game road trip against Toronto, the Astros and the Los Angeles Angels, their record is 23-51.
Between now and July 23, the Orioles will play just six home games.
Since May 5th, when John Means pitched a no-hitter, they’re 8-35.
The Astros scored three runs against Thomas Eshelman (0-1) in the first with two outs.
Yuli Gurriel singled and Yordan Alvarez walked. Both scored on Carlos Correa’s double, and Correa scored on Kyle Tucker’s single.
Houston scored again in the second with two outs. José Altuve and Michael Brantley singled and scored on Gurriel’s single, and the Orioles trailed, 4-0.
Altuve’s two-run home run, his 17th, with one out in the fourth put Houston ahead 6-0.
Eshelman, who allowed one run on three hits in 4 2/3 innings in his last start — a 7-1 win over Toronto on June 18th — was rocked by Houston.
“I stuck with my game plan throughout the game,” Eshelman said. “They spoiled some good pitches and put some good swings on balls that were in the zone.”
Houston had 38 hits in the three-game series.
“These guys take really good at-bats. They’re pros,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “They don’t swing at pitches out of the zone. They start rallies, and they capitalize.”
Mickey Jannis made his major league debut in the fifth, and the 33-year-old knuckleballer pitched a scoreless inning and allowed a run in the sixth on an RBI single by Brantley.
In the seventh, Jannis came apart and allowed a 448-foot homer to Alvarez, his 11th, and a three-run home run to Abraham Toro, his second.
Chas McCormick homered to start the eighth, and Toro’s RBI single made it 13-0.
“He had a good first inning, and they were all over him,” Hyde said.
In 3 1/3 innings, Jannis gave up seven runs on eight hits, walking four and striking out one.
“It wasn’t dancing as much,” catcher Austin Wynns said of Jannis’ knuckleball. “He is a professional. He’s paid his dues. He went out there and competed, and that’s all you can ask for.”
Hyde sent Jannis back out to start the eighth, even though he had allowed five runs in three innings,
“With the game out of hand, I didn’t want to use anybody else,” Hyde said. “He’s built up as a starter. By him going into that fourth inning, he actually saved me a little bit by not having to use somebody else, which affects tomorrow and the next day.
“I never like leaving somebody out there unnecessarily, but in some cases, you’ve got to think about tomorrow.”
Urquidy (6-3) allowed a leadoff double to Cedric Mullins in the first, a leadoff single to Wynns in the sixth, and a one-out single to Anthony Santander in the seventh.
He walked one and struck out six.
“They have really good arms, no doubt about it,” Hyde said. “You’ve got to have a real disciplined approach. You’ve got to be ready. We had a tough time.”
The Orioles came closest to scoring when they loaded the bases with none out in the eighth. But a strikeout by Stevie Wilkerson and a double-play grounder by Pedro Severino preserved Houston’s shutout.
Notes: The Orioles begin a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays in Buffalo on Thursday night. Dean Kremer (0-6, 6.20 ERA) will face Anthony Kay (0-2, 6.43). Matt Harvey (3-9, 7.80) will face Alek Manoah (1-0, 4.18) on Friday night, Keegan Akin (0-3, 6.42) will face Hyun Jin Ryu (6-4, 3.25) on Saturday, and Jorge López will face Ross Stripling (2-4, 4.33) on Sunday. Saturday’s game will begin at 3:07 p.m. … Wynns made his first major league appearance at first base in the ninth. … The Orioles were shut out for the fifth time this season and the first time since April 28th.
Minor Matters: Triple-A Norfolk swept a doubleheader from Gwinnett. The Tides scored eight runs in the first inning on the way to a 9-3 win in the first game.
Spenser Watkins (1-2) pitched six innings for the win. Centerfielder Ryan McKenna hit a two-run homer. First baseman J.C. Escarra added a solo shot, his first since joining the Tides on Tuesday.
The Tides completed the doubleheader sweep with a 5-2 win in the second game.
Third baseman Domingo Leyba hit his fifth home run, a three-run shot, since joining Norfolk on June 5th in a four-run first. First baseman Tyler Nevin followed with his ninth home run.
Cody Sedlock and Tim Naughton combined to allow eight runs to New Hampshire in the eighth inning as the Fisher Cats beat Double-A Bowie, 10-3.
Sedlock, the Orioles’ top draft choice in 2016, gave up five runs in 2 1/3 innings. He’s 1-1 with a 4.45 ERA.
Designated hitter J.D. Mundy’s 11th-inning single gave High-A Aberdeen a 3-1 win over Rome.
Garrett Stallings allowed two runs on four hits in six innings, striking out seven and walking one.
Griffin McLarty allowed two unearned runs in the fourth inning as Low-A Delmarva lost to Fredericksburg, 3-2.