Walk-off win: Rio Ruiz wins it in the last of the ninth

With one swing it went from disheartening loss to walk-off win. Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer to right with two outs in the last of the ninth off Houston closer Roberto Osuna and the Orioles stunned the Astros 8-7 at Oriole Park.

The Birds had seen Houston score three in the ninth to lead 7-5. But the O’s scored three in the home half to win it.

Jace Peterson led off with a double for his third hit of the day, all for extra bases. He moved to third on a groundout. Chance Sisco was hit by a pitch with one out and a Chris Davis sac fly made it a 7-6 O’s deficit.

Ruiz-Admires-Walk-Off-Blast-White-Sidebar.jpgBut down to their last out, Ruiz drove a 2-2 changeup over the wall in right for the stunning win. The ball landed onto Eutaw Street.

It was the Orioles’ first walk-off win of the year and Ruiz’s first career walk-off homer.

It was the second walk-off Eutaw Street home run in OPACY history after Luke Scott against Detroit on July 19, 2008.

The Orioles ended a five-game losing streak, during which they had been outscored 58-16 by the Yankees and Astros. They lost 23-2 last night, the fourth-most runs allowed in club history. They had scored just six runs the last three games going 1-for-18 with runners in scoring position. But today they scored eight and went 4-for-12 with RISP.

Oh, and they were facing Houston ace Justin Verlander, the 2011 American League Cy Young Winner.

Despite the odds, they went to the ninth today leading 5-4 looking to end the five-game slide and hand Verlander his first loss since July 5. In his previous five games he was 5-0 with an ERA of 1.45.

But three outs from a very uplifting victory, Houston scored three in the ninth off Mychal Givens to take the lead 7-5.

Givens got the last out of the eighth to strand a runner at second and hold the 5-4 edge. But George Springer singled to left and Jose Altuve reached on a bunt to begin the ninth. Then Michael Brantley lined an extra-base hit down the right field line. As he ran toward third, Anthony Santander lost the ball on his attempted throw to the infield. Brantley scored on the play which was a two-run triple and E9 for three runs on the play and a 7-5 lead.

When the Orioles took a 1-0 lead in the last of the first today, they had their first lead since last Sunday. They went five games without one. But Peterson’s RBI double off Verlander on an 0-1 slider made it 1-0. Peterson had three extra-base hits today and tied his career high with three hits.

The 1-0 lead didn’t last long.

After a 1-2-3 first, O’s right-hander Asher Wojciechowski allowed a walk and a bloop. The blast would follow. He hung a slider to Carlos Correa and he hammered a three-run shot to left-center for the 3-1 lead. For Correa, who hit a 474-foot homer last night, it was No. 17.

Sisco singled to start the home second and later scored on Trey Mancini’s single to left. It was Houston 3, Orioles 2.

Baltimore got the lead in the fifth off Verlander. Pedro Severino doubled to left with one out. Then Peterson smoked an RBI triple to deep center for a 3-3 tie. He would score on Hanser Alberto’s foul ball sac fly to left for the 4-3 edge.

The O’s added on in the sixth leading 5-3 on Mancini’s RBI single off Chris Devenski. It scored Jonathan Villar, who singled with two outs and stole second. Villar went 3-for-4 with two stolen bases and has 26 on the year.

Houston rallied in the seventh, but the Orioles kept the lead at 5-4. Shawn Armstrong replaced Wojciechowki and gave up a single, double and RBI grounder to Altuve.

Wojciechowski recorded a quality start - just the second in the last 14 games for the Orioles. Over six innings and 103 pitches he gave up four hits and three runs. It’s the 29th quality start of the year for Baltimore.

The homer he allowed to Correa was the 241st allowed by the Orioles, one shy of their club and AL record 242 allowed in 2017.

Verlander gave up four runs and nine hits in five innings. The four runs allowed tied his season high and the nine hits is a season high. He had allowed just five earned runs over his previous five starts. He fanned 11 today and he tied the club record for five straight games with double-digit strikeouts. It was set by J.R. Richard in 1980 and tied by Randy Johnson in 1998. This was Verlander’s 63rd game with 10 or more strikeouts. The ninth-inning rally took him off the hook for the loss.

The Orioles (39-78) ended this homestand going 3-7 and now they head for New York to play four games the next three days against the Yankees, starting with Monday’s day-night doubleheader.

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