Burnes allows 4 runs for 1st time and gets little support as Orioles lose 2nd straight to Astros, 5-1 - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Rich Dubroff

Burnes allows 4 runs for 1st time and gets little support as Orioles lose 2nd straight to Astros, 5-1

Photo Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

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What happened? In Corbin Burnes’ first 15 starts with the Orioles, he allowed three runs or fewer while pitching at least five innings. In his 16th, he gave up four runs while working seven innings in the Orioles’ 5-1 loss to the Houston Astros on Saturday afternoon.

It was their second straight loss to Houston. On Friday night, they lost, 14-11.

Burnes, who’s 8-3, had thrown 10 straight quality starts, allowing three or fewer earned runs in six or more innings. The Orioles were 11-4 in his 15 starts.

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While it was the most runs Burnes had allowed, the Orioles haven’t supported him in the starts they haven’t won. They’ve scored just five runs in those five losses.

Burnes’ value to the team is immense. He’s arguably their best starter since Mike Mussina left the team after the 2001 season. With Kyle Bradish, John Means and Tyler Wells lost for the season after elbow surgery, there will be even more focus on Burnes and Grayson Rodriguez, who allowed seven runs in Friday’s loss.

Being able to depend on Burnes for excellent starts is a plus, and he didn’t pitch badly on Saturday.

He allowed five hits, four of them for extra bases, struck out five and didn’t walk a batter for the first time since April 3rd, his second start of the season.

After Albert Suárez, Cade Povich and Cole Irvin each failed to complete five innings in the series at Yankee Stadium, Rodriguez went five-plus on Friday. Burnes’ seven innings in a loss meant that manager Brandon Hyde had to use his bullpen for only one inning. In this stretch of 29 games in 30 days, that’s huge.

The Orioles will continue to depend on Burnes, and the thinking here is that he’ll continue to deliver outstanding performances.

How did Burnes allow his runs? The Astros (37-40) scored on Yanier Diaz’s triple and Mauricio Dubón’s sacrifice fly in the second. Yordan Alvarez’s home run gave Houston a 3-1 lead in the third. Chas McCormick homered in the fifth. He also homered off Bryan Baker in the eighth.

Where was the offense? The Orioles (49-27) had just four hits against Houston starter Ronel Blanco (8-2). One of them was Jordan Westburg’s 12th home run, the 21st consecutive game in which the Orioles hit a homer, setting a franchise record.

Cedric Mullins had two hits, a triple and single, bringing his average to .208, its highest since May 7th. Ryan O’Hearn also singled.

Gunnar Henderson walked and extended his on-base streak to 29 games. That’s the longest by an Oriole since Nick Markakis reached base in 38 straight from July 5th-August 18th, 2009.

Blanco pitched seven innings. Ryan Pressley and Josh Hader retired the six batters they faced.

Does catching matter? After James McCann caught five straight Burnes starts, Adley Rutschman caught Burnes for the second start in a row. In seven starts, Burnes has a 1.83 with McCann catching. His ERA in the nine games caught by Rutschman is 2.93.

What does it mean? After winning the final two games in New York with Povich and Irvin starting, the Orioles dropped the first two games of this series with Rodriguez and Burnes starting. They’ll try to avoid their second sweep of the season with Albert Suárez starting on Sunday.

What’s the stat of the day? 6. The Orioles have been held to one run or fewer in six games. They’ve been shut out twice and scored one in four games. Their previous one-run game was on May 21st.

What’s the second stat of the day? 2 hours, 8 minutes. A day after playing their longest nine-inning game of the season — three hours, 26 minutes in their 14-11 loss — the Orioles and Astros played two hours, 8 minutes on Saturday, equaling their shortest game of 2024.

What’s going on in the minor leagues? Outfielders Douglas Hodo and Reed Trimble and designated hitter Creed Willems homered as High-A Aberdeen beat Wilmington, 4-2. Moisés Chace (2-1) and Kyle Virbitsky combined for five hitless innings in relief.

What’s next? Albert Suárez (3-1, 2.05) will face Framber Valdez (5-5. 3.91) on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. as the Orioles try to avoid being swept for the second time this season and their second three-game losing streak.

Call for questions: Most weekdays, I’ll be answering at least one Orioles question. Please send yours to: [email protected]

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