Orioles avoid sweep with 5-4 win over Astros; Bautista gets the save - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Orioles avoid sweep with 5-4 win over Astros; Bautista gets the save

Photo Credit: Mitch Stringer USA TODAY Sports


BALTIMORE—After losing the first two games of their three-game series against the defending World Series champion Houston Astros, the Orioles avoided their first series sweep since May 13th-15th, 2022.

The Orioles’ 5-4 win over the Houston Astros before an announced crowd of 22,981 at Camden Yards on Thursday was their 76th consecutive series without being swept, the fifth longest streak in baseball history.

Adley Rutschman led off with his 16th home run against Houston starter Hunter Brown (8-8). It was the Orioles’ third leadoff home run this season.


Yainer Diaz tied the score at 1 when he hit his 15th home run against Oriole starter Dean Kremer (11-4).

Third baseman Ramón Urías, who began the game with an excellent stop of Jose Altuve’s grounder, tripled to start the third and scored on catcher James McCann’s single.

“As a staff we know that we’ve got some of the best defense in the league,” Kremer said. “We don’t have to be perfect. You just throw the ball in the zone and our guys will make plays.”

McCann doubled to start the sixth and scored on Rustchman’s single.

Altuve, who doubled in the third and singled in the fifth, homered to center in the seventh.

“Definitely not the easiest team to face, to navigate their lineup,” Kremer said. “Their top four, five, six guys can do damage with the flip of a switch if you make any sort of mistakes.”

Kremer allowed two runs on six hits in seven innings for his first win in his last five starts. He’d had four consecutive no-decisions in games the Orioles eventually won.

Kremer pitched out of trouble in the third when he had first and second and two outs. Kyle Tucker flied to center for the third out. After Altuve singled with one out in the fifth and Alex Bregman singled, second baseman Adam Frazier made a dazzling stop on a shot by Yordan Alvarez to end the fifth.

Ryan Mountcastle hit his 15th homer to left-center to give the Orioles for a 5-2 lead.

Cionel Pérez, who relieved Kremer in the eighth, dropped Mountcastle’s throw on Jon Singleton’s grounder for what would have been the third out. Mauricio Dubón’s bloop single off Yennier Cano scored Tucker.

Félix Bautista, who allowed a ninth-inning grand slam to Tucker on Tuesday night in a 7-6 loss, had a rocky ninth. He allowed a double to Altuve, and after a walk to Bregman, Alvarez fouled out to McCann for the second out. Tucker walked, and Diaz singled off Urías’ glove to score Altuve. Urías made a fine play to even get his glove on the scorcher.

Singleton popped to Gunnar Henderson at short and Bautista had a hard-earned save, his 31st.

“Honestly, it’s good for him. It’s really good for him,” McCann said about Bautista. “That’s a playoff atmosphere. That’s a playoff team over there. For not only for him to bounce back today but also to go through it today and find a way to come out on top today, he did an excellent job.”

McCann was behind the plate when Tucker hit the grand slam.

“The at-bat for Tucker we definitely used more splitters than we did the other night when he turned around the heater,” McCann said. “He’s been so good for us all year. One blown save doesn’t mean that we change the recipe for success. It’s good to see him get out there and slam the door today.”

Hyde knows how tough the Houston lineup is. Four years ago, on August 10th, 2019, the Astros beat the Orioles 23-2.

“I think Bregman and Tucker and Alvarez hit every inning,” Hyde joked. “I was going to check to see if they were hitting out of order because I feel like they hit eight times a game.”

The Orioles survived the Astros and go to the West Coast for nine games, playing Seattle, San Diego and Oakland before returning to Baltimore on August 22nd against Toronto.

“They give you a good at-bat every time,” McCann said about Houston’s tough lineup. “They hurt you in so many different ways. It’s one of those grinder series where you’ve got to find a way, find a way to navigate the lineup and get through those guys.”

Notes: The Orioles did not leave a runner on base for the first time since August 24th, 2015. … The Orioles said minor league shortstop prospect Luis Almeyda had successful surgery on his left shoulder and will miss the remainder of the year. He will rehab to be ready for the start of 2024. … Relief pitcher Danny Coulombe last pitched on August 5th, but he was put on the 15-day injured list retroactive to Wednesday. Generally, players’ stints on the injured list can be retroactive for three days, but Coulombe, who has left biceps tendinitis, was replaced on the roster by Joey Krehbiel, who was optioned to Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday. A player’s backdate can’t precede the option date of a player he’s replacing. … Kyle Gibson (11-6, 4.50) will face Luis Castillo when the Orioles begin a three-game series in Seattle. Luis Castillo (7-7, 3.21 will pitch for the Mariners. … Thursday game’s start was delayed by 13 minutes. Oriole games have been delayed by 15 hours, 56 minutes.

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