Gurriel gets first hit before hammy tightens up
(c) Associated Press
Dallas Keuchel out-pitched Astro-killer Yovani Gallardo and the Astros out-defended the Orioles in a 5-3 win at Camden Yards Sunday evening. Keuchel waited out a pair of rain delays totalling more than four-and-a-half hours to earn his eighth win of the season, holding Baltimore to two runs on five hits and one walk in eight strong innings.
Gallardo, who entered the game with a 15-4 record and 3.11 ERA in 21 career starts against Houston, didn't pitch poorly but was victimized by a couple of defensive lapses by his teammates.
A.J. Reed's RBI single in the fourth inning put the Astros on top 1-0. After Jonathan Schoop's solo homer in the bottom of the inning tied the score, an error by Manny Machado and a misplayed fly ball by Chris Davis helped the Astros tally three runs in the fifth to take a 4-1 lead. The Orioles closed the gap to 5-2 in the bottom of the inning when Nolan Reimold reached on a 2-out double and came home on a single by Adam Jones.
Jake Marisnick, who had missed the last two games with a sore groin, entered as a defensive replacement in the seventh inning. That substitution turned out to be a bonus for the offense when Marisnick launched a solo homer into the leftfield bleachers the following inning.
Ken Giles came on in the ninth to protect a 3-run lead and got the job done despite a solo home run by Mark Trumbo, the league leader in that category. The game ended on an outstanding play by Jose Altuve. The reigning Gold Glove second-baseman picked up Marwin Gonzalez by scooping up a grounder that the first-baseman had misplayed and throwing to Giles at first just in time to get Chris Davis. Amazingly enough, it was the second such assist that Altuve recorded in the game.
Reed and Carlos Correa paced the offense with two hits apiece. Yulieski Gurriel stroked a solid single in his first big league at-bat and drew a walk in his second plate appearance. Unfortunately, the Cuban defector was forced from the game early with hamstring tightness. Alex Bregman had his 5-game hitting streak snapped but made several outstanding defensive plays at third base.
The Astros leave Baltimore on a high note and travel to Pittsburgh to open up a 3-game series under National League rules beginning Monday night at 6:05. Doug Fister gets the start in the opener against talented rookie Jameson Taillon.
- Greg Thurston