HOUSTON – Ryan Mountcastle remains out of the Orioles lineup for the seventh game in a row, as the first leg of the road trip concludes this afternoon.
Heston Kjerstad is receiving his third consecutive start, again serving as the designated hitter.
Gunnar Henderson is the shortstop, with Ramón Urías at third base. Adam Frazier is at second base, and Jordan Westburg is on the bench.
The club didn’t announce any roster moves this morning.
Kyle Bradish is 11-7 with a 3.12 ERA and 1.087 WHIP in 27 starts. He’s registered 16 quality starts.
Bradish hasn’t allowed a run against the Astros in two career starts over 16 2/3 innings.
The Orioles are trying for their 10th sweep. Their magic number is eight to clinch the division.
They’ve won four games in a row, 12 of 17, 14 of 21 and 18 of 26. A victory today would put them a season-high 40 above .500.
The Orioles are guaranteed to be the No. 1 seed if they win the division or hold the top wild card spot.
Right-hander Cristian Javier has seen his ERA rise from 2.54 last season to 4.74, and his WHIP from 0.948 to 1.292. He pitched at Camden Yards on Aug. 9 and allowed two runs in five innings in Houston’s 8-2 win.
Austin Hays hit a two-run homer. He had two home runs last night and is in left field today.
Javier’s sweeper has held opponents to a .218 average and produced a 27.9 whiff percentage, but that’s a decline from last year’s .121 average and 39.1 percentage, according to STATS.
For the Orioles
Gunnar Henderson SS
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander RF
Ryan O’Hearn 1B
Cedric Mullins CF
Heston Kjerstad DH
Austin Hays LF
Adam Frazier 2B
Ramón Urías 3B
Kyle Bradish RHP
For the Astros
Jose Altuve 2B
Jeremy Peña SS
Kyle Tucker RF
Alex Bregman 3B
José Abreu 1B
Yainer Díaz DH
Chas McCormick RF
Jake Meyers CF
Martín Maldonado C
Cristian Javier RHP