Astros hammer Orioles 12-2

Springer, Bregman flex muscles
(c) Associated Press

Mike Fiers pitched seven strong innings and the Astros offense feasted on Baltimore pitching for the second straight night in a 12-2 win over the Orioles.

Houston took a 2-0 lead two batters into the game when Alex Bregman followed George Springer's leadoff single with a home run to leftfield. Baltimore ace Chris Tillman struggled with his command and was knocked out of the game after allowing six runs and recording only six outs.

Springer and Bregman provided plenty of offensive support for Fiers. The first two batters in A.J. Hinch's lineup combined for 6 hits, 5 RBIs, and 4 runs scored. Jose Altuve, Evan Gattis, and Jason Castro were also key contributors to Houston's 14-hit attack.

Fiers earned his ninth win of the season with a 7-strikeout performance that included only five hits and one walk. The only run he allowed was on a solo blast off the bat of Chris Davis in the fourth inning.

Brad Peacock and Tony Sipp provided one inning of mop-up relief duty apiece, effectively giving the winning pieces of the Astros bullpen the night off. Meanwhile, Buck Showalter employed six pitchers in the game, including infielder Ryan Flaherty, who gave up a pair of runs in the ninth.

Sunday's 12:35 CDT tilt pitting Dallas Keuchel against Yovani Gallardo will be the final regular season meeting between the two teams. The Astros hope to continue playing well against the Orioles, having already clinched the season series by winning five of the first six head-to-head contests.

The Astros got some bad news earlier in the day when it was announced that Luis Valbuena had suffered a setback while rehabbing a hamstring injury that landed him on the disabled list nearly a month ago. Valbuena has been sent back to Houston to visit with team doctors and it seems as if his season could be in jeopardy.

In other news, it has been reported that the recently released Carlos Gomez has signed to play for the Arlington Rangers. The polarizing outfielder is expected to spend a few days in the minors prior to joining the big league club in plenty of time for the Astros' upcoming trip to the Metroplex.

- Greg Thurston