The Orioles (38-77), who are 2-6 on this homestand, host Houston (76-40) tonight in the second game of a three-game series at Oriole Park. Dylan Bundy gave up just two runs over six innings last night, but the Orioles lost 3-2 and they’ve now lost four in a row.
The Astros began a season-long 10-game road trip with a win. They head to Chicago to face the White Sox and Oakland to face the Athletics after this series. Houston has won seven in a row and 10 of 11 games, and has its best 116-game record ever. The Astros have winning streaks this year of 10, 10, seven and six games.
With a 76-40 record (.655), the Astros are tied with the Yankees for the best record in the major leagues, percentage points ahead of the Dodgers (77-41, .653). Houston’s 10-game lead the in American League West ties its largest division lead of the season, last reached on June 7.
The Astros are 17-3 in their last 20, thanks in large part to their rotation, which has combined for a 17-1 record with a 2.12 ERA, allowing just 78 hits for a .178 opponent batting average in that time frame. On the season, Houston’s starting staff ranks first in the majors in opponent batting average (.212) and first in the American League in WHIP (1.08).
MLB leaders, rotation ERA:
2.96 - Los Angeles Dodgers
3.37 - Tampa Bay
3.57 - Washington
3.67 - Houston
The Orioles rank 29th - next to last - in rotation ERA at 5.50, ahead of only Colorado at 5.79. Bundy’s outing last night ended an O’s stretch of 11 consecutive games without a quality start.
Tonight, O’s right-hander Aaron Brooks (2-5, 5.45 ERA) gets the start. In five games since the O’s acquired him, he is 0-2 with a 6.63 ERA. In his first two games he allowed one run over 5 1/3 innings. In his last three he’s allowed 13 earned runs and 21 hits over 13 2/3 innings. This year, between Oakland and the Orioles, lefty batters hit .259 off him with an .860 OPS. Right-handers bat .266/.804.
Right-hander Aaron Sanchez (4-14, 5.76 ERA) will make his 25th start of the season, and the second for his new team. The Astros acquired him with two other players for outfielder Derek Fisher on July 31.
In his last 10 Toronto starts he went 0-8 with a 9.06 ERA. In his start for Houston last Saturday, he pitched six no-hit innings against Seattle. The Astros went on to throw a four-pitcher no-hitter.
It was the Astros’ 12th no-hitter in club history, and the first since Mike Fiers’ on Aug. 21, 2015 versus the Dodgers. It was the second combined no-hitter in franchise history, after the six-pitcher no-hitter on June 11, 2003 at the Yankees spun by Roy Oswalt, Pete Munro, Kirk Saarloos, Brad Lidge, Octavio Dotel and Billy Wagner.
According to STATS, Sanchez became the first pitcher to throw six or more no-hit innings in his debut with a team following a midseason trade since Greg Maddux also went six in his first start with the Dodgers on Aug. 3, 2006 at Cincinnati.