Orioles and Astros lineups in Houston

The challenges keep coming at the Orioles, one after another, contenders leaving them and others waiting right around the corner.

A ninth walk-off win last night is followed by a three-game series in Houston, where the Orioles can visit with former teammate Trey Mancini and try to gain ground in the wild card race.

Last night’s improbable result, a 4-3 win in 11 innings over the White Sox, kept them 2 ½ games back for the last spot.

The Orioles earned their 29th comeback win, the most since 2017, after Kyle Stowers tied the game with his first major league home run after falling behind 0-2 with two outs in the ninth. Anthony Santander singled in the 11th for his second career walk-off hit.

The club has registered three consecutive winning months for the first time since April-June 2016.

The first game against the Astros features Stowers in left field and Austin Hays in right. Santander remains the designated hitter.

Rougned Odor starts at second base.

Rookie Kyle Bradish has made four starts since returning to the Orioles and allowed 10 runs and 23 hits in 20 2/3 innings.

Lance McCullers Jr. has made two starts this season and allowed three runs with seven walks and 11 strikeouts in 11 innings. He didn’t pitch until Aug. 13, when he shut out Oakland on two hits over six innings, due to a strained flexor tendon.

McCullers is 3-0 with a 3.46 ERA and 1.115 WHIP in six career games (four starts) against the Orioles.

Mancini is 14-for-60 (.233) with two doubles, six home runs, 16 RBIs, two walks and 18 strikeouts in 18 games since his Aug. 2 trade to the Astros. He’s batting sixth tonight as the designated hitter.

The Orioles are 65-59 overall, but 28-35 on the road. The Astros are 81-45 overall, the best record in the American League, and 42-18 at home.

Houston has won four in a row and six of eight. They just swept the Twins in a three-game series, pushing Minnesota further behind the Orioles in the wild card standings.

Their run differential is plus-158, second in the AL.

The Orioles and Astros will play a four-game series in Baltimore Sept. 22-25.

The teams split six games last season, with the Orioles going 3-0 in Houston.

For the Orioles
Cedric Mullins CF
Adley Rutschman C
Anthony Santander DH
Ryan Mountcastle 1B
Austin Hays RF
Kyle Stowers LF
Ramón Urías 3B
Rougned Odor 2B
Jorge Mateo SS

Kyle Bradish RHP

For the Astros
José Altuve 2B
Yuli Gurriel 1B
Yordan Álvarez LF
Alex Bregman 3B
Kyle Tucker RF
Trey Mancini DH
Jeremy Peña SS
Jake Meyers CF
Martin Maldonado C

Lance McCullers Jr. RHP

Steve Melewski is in Houston. I’ll join the team in Cleveland.

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