In case you didn’t notice, Ryan Flaherty has become a triples machine in Houston.
Flaherty has tripled in consecutive games for the first time in his career. He’s going for three in a row tonight.
Before the Astros series, Flaherty had collected a grand total of two triples in 283 major league games.
Flaherty is the first Oriole to triple in consecutive games since Felix Pie on Sept. 29-Oct. 1, 2010.
Tonight’s starter, Miguel Gonzalez, is 3-0 with a 0.92 ERA in six starts when logging eight or more innings. He held the Rays to one run and three hits in eight innings in his last outing, with no walks and six strikeouts, but he didn’t get the decision.
Gonzalez has allowed one earned run or fewer in five of his 10 starts this season.
Gonzalez is 1-2 with a 3.47 ERA in four career starts against the Astros and 1-1 with a 2.13 ERA - three earned runs in 12 2/3 innings - in two starts at Minute Maid Park.
The current Astros are 14-for-65 (.215) against Gonzalez. Jason Castro is 4-for-10 with three doubles and a home run. George Springer is 2-for-6 with a double and home run.
Colby Rasmus is 2-for-16 with two doubles and nine strikeouts. Chris Carter is 1-for-11 with four strikeouts.
The Orioles haven’t faced Astros rookie Lance McCullers, who’s making his fourth major league start. He’s allowed four earned runs (five total) and 14 hits in 15 innings, with six walks, 18 strikeouts and two hit batters.
McCullers has reverse splits. Left-handers are batting .179 against him and right-handers are batting .290.
McCullers, 21, was the 41st overall pick in the 2012 First-Year Player Draft. His father - same name - pitched in the majors from 1985-1992.
Down on the farm, Bud Norris retired 12 of 13 batters at Triple-A Norfolk, walking one and striking out two. He threw 57 pitches, 36 for strikes, and came out early to keep him available for a possible start Sunday afternoon in Cleveland.
Leadoff hitter Matt Wieters singled twice and walked in his first three plate appearances before grounding out in the fifth inning.
On this date in 1968, left-hander Dave McNally tossed a five-hit shutout and struck out 12 Angels, the most by an Orioles pitcher during the 1968 season, in a 2-0 win over the Angels at Memorial Stadium. First baseman Boog Powell hit a two-run homer off Rickey Clark in the fourth inning.
Update: Executive vice president Dan Duquette sent along the following tweet regarding new Double-A pitcher Joe Gunkel:
“Gunkel has good size, nice fluid delivery and three major league pitches. Plus, he is a local kid that grew up in Hershey, Pa.”