In the first inning tonight, the Orioles hit four homers before making an out. That was historic. But the lead generated by that barrage didn’t last long and the Orioles lost amidst a barrage of Astros runs.
The Astros battered O’s pitchers for 18 hits and Jose Altuve drove in five as Houston beat the Orioles 15-8 at Camden Yards. The Orioles fall to 67-54 but remain 1 1/2 games behind first-place Blue Jays. Toronto gave up two in the last of the ninth tonight to fall 3-2 at Cleveland.
The wild start to this game saw the Orioles hit four homers before making an out in the first inning but trail after the top of the second inning. George Springer led off the game with a homer off O’s starter Wade Miley and Houston took a 1-0 lead to the last of the first. But the homer barrage was set to begin.
Adam Jones hit his fourth career leadoff homer - all this year - on the first pitch to tie the game in the last of the first. It was Jones’ 24th home run on the year.
After a Hyun Soo Kim single, Manny Machado’s two-run homer made it 3-1, No. 28 for the third baseman. Chris Davis followed with a 446-foot homer for a 4-1 lead. That was the third homer in three at-bats over two games for Davis and No. 28 on the year. It was his fourth homer in eight at-bats going back to Wednesday night. When Mark Trumbo followed with a solo homer (No. 36), the O’s had hit three in a row and four total in a span of five batters to start the opening inning.
According to Stats, LLC, the Orioles are the first team to hit four homers before making an out, dating to 1900. The four homers in the first also tied a major league record for homers in that specific inning. It was the seventh time it happened and first since Houston did it in 2004. The O’s hit back-to-back-to-back homers for the first time since Aug. 25, 2014 against Tampa Bay when Delmon Young, J.J. Hardy and Davis did it.
In the team’s first nine at-bats in this series - eight last night and the first inning tonight - the Orioles scored 18 runs on 25 hits and hit 10 home runs.
But Miley had a terrible outing and could not hold the big early lead. Five consecutive Astros reached with two outs in the second and they scored five runs to lead 6-5. Miley lasted just 1 2/3 innings, allowing six hits and six runs. His ERA is 9.53 in four Orioles starts. In his last two O’s starts against the Giants and the Astros, he has pitched six innings, allowing 14 hits and 13 runs.
Down 6-5, the O’s scored twice in the third to lead 7-6. The first run scored on a wild pitch and the second on Jonathan Schoop’s RBI single.
Ubaldo Jimenez replaced Miley, but he struggled as well, allowing three runs on three hits and four walks over three innings. Houston tied it against him in the fourth and scored twice in the fifth to lead 9-7.
When Pedro Alvarez hit the Orioles’ fifth homer of the night in the fifth, the O’s pulled within 9-8. But then Tyler Wilson became the third ineffective pitcher of the night and Houston hit two homers scoring three in the sixth to lead 12-8. Jose Altuve hit a two-run shot and Evan Gattis a solo homer. Two more runs in the seventh made it 14-8. Teoscar Hernandez homered off Vance Worley in the ninth for the 15th run.
The 14 runs is the most the Orioles have allowed this year. The previous high was 13 against Toronto on June 17. Houston (62-60) ended a five-game losing streak. One night after scoring 13 runs in a victory, the O’s give up 14 in a loss. The nine homers by both teams ties for the most in a single game in the majors this year. Houston went 8-for-17 with runners in scoring position. The top three in their lineup - Springer, Alex Bregman and Altuve - went 10-for-16 with nine RBIs.
On Saturday night, Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.46 ERA) pitches against right-hander Mike Fiers (8-6, 4.66 ERA) in the third game of this four-game series.