Houston homer barrage leads the Astros past the Orioles

The Orioles pitching staff tonight allowed six home runs over the game's first four innings. Houston didn't hit any more after the early barrage but that was more than enough for the Astros to post a 11-7 win over the Orioles.

O's starter Freddy Garcia pitched eight innings of shutout, three-hit ball last Thursday against Washington. Tonight he gave up seven hits, six runs and four homers in three-plus innings. Garcia, who had an ERA of 1.89 over his last three starts, falls to 2-3 with an ERA of 4.70

Houston added two homers in the fourth inning off Steve Johnson as part of their homer outburst tonight.

Down 9-1 after four innings, the Orioles rallied within four runs in the eighth and hit a couple of homers of their own. J.J. Hardy hit a solo shot, it was his 13th and Matt Wieters added a two-run homer in the eighth inning, which was his eighth of the year.

The Orioles scored three in the seventh and eighth. They pulled to within 11-7 and had the bases loaded with one out in the eighth, but Hardy grounded into an inning and rally ending double play.

It was not a good night for the Orioles:

* The Orioles have now allowed five or more homers twice in the last four games. They gave up five homers Saturday at home to Detroit and the six tonight.

* The last time the O's gave up six homers was July 7, 2011 vs. Boston. The team record and major league record is 10 allowed at Toronto on Sept. 14, 1987.

* The last time the Astros hit six homers in a game was Aug. 9, 2006 against Pittsburgh.

* Garcia's four homers allowed tied his career high. He also gave up four on Aug. 17, 2004 for the Chicago White Sox against Detroit.

* Garcia allowed just three homers over his last three combined starts covering 19 innings before giving up four tonight in three innings plus one batter.

* This is the seventh time this year and the fourth time over the last eight games that O's pitching gave up four or more homers.

* The O's staff has now allowed 13 homers over the last four games and 23 over the last eight.

* The Astros six homers are one shy of the major league high this season. Cleveland hit seven vs. Philadelphia in a 14-2 win on April 30.

While the Astros won for the seventh time in the last eight games, the Orioles lost for just the second time in the last seven to fall to 33-26 on the season as they failed once again to get to a season high nine games over the .500 mark. They play the series finale Thursday afternoon at 2:10 p.m. at Houston.

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