That was about as bad of a baseball game as you will see. Both team's offenses struggled throughout the evening in Houston as the Orioles fell to the Astros by a score of 3-2 at Minute Maid Park on Tuesday night.
O's waste chances early
The Orioles entered the evening in the bottom third of baseball in walks taken. But somehow, they earned three base on balls in the first inning against Doug Fister, a guy who averages less than two walks per nine innings for his career.
In the first inning, Manny Machado walked with one out only to be erased by an Adam Jones ground ball double play. In the second inning, Chris Davis led off with a walk. Two batters later, Pedro Alvarez walked to give the Birds two runners with two outs. A Jonathan Schoop single loaded the bases for Ryan Flaherty, who then struck out on four pitches. Bummer.
Alvarez got the O's on the board first with a line drive DONG in the top of the fifth inning. The round-tripper was his third of the season. It came on the sixth pitch of the at-bat as Fister hung a 71 mph curveball.
The Astros answered right back as Tillman struggled with his control in the bottom of the fifth. Evan Gattis led off with a single and Jason Castro followed with a walk. Colin Moran grounded into a double play to alleviate some of the pressure. But Luis Valbuena drove in Gattis moments later with a two-run bomb to right field to give the hosts a 2-1 lead.
The rocky fifth continue for the Orioles pitcher as he allowed back-to-back walks to Tony Kemp and George Springer following the Valbuena homer. Jose Altuve smashed an 0-1 fastball, but it went right to Schoop at second base. With that, Tillman was out of the jam.
Machado tied things up by breaking out of his current funk with a home run to left field off of an 87 mph Fister home run. in the top of the sixth inning. The ball flew approximately 7,500 feet. (That is just a rough estimate) After that, the right-hander retired the next three hitters to get out of the inning.
Battle of the bullpens
Both starting pitchers were left with no decisions. Fister tapped out after 5.2 innings, allowing two runs on three hits, three walks and two strikeouts. He was good and kept the 'Stros in the game. Tillman tossed seven innings for the second time in three starts. He also allowed two runs on three hits but managed to strike out five while walking three. After that, it was up to the relief corps.
They held strong. For the Astros, Tony Sipp, Ken Giles and Luke Gregerson combined for 3.1 innings of shutout ball to get through the ninth inning, allowing three hits, one walk and five strikeouts between the trio. Baltimore had Darren O'Day pitch a scoreless eighth inning and Brad Brach took the ninth in easy fashion
The closest either team would come to scoring was in the Orioles half of the ninth inning. Matt Wieters singled. Then, with Schoop batting, the O's catcher STOLE SECOND BASE! Woo! It was glorious. Schoop then singled but Wieters wasn't speedy enough to score from second. Boo! A Flaherty walk loaded the bases for Joey Rickard, but he couldn't come through, striking out on three pitches.
On to extras
The tenth inning saw the O's go three-up, three-down. In the bottom of the inning, the Astros got two men on with two outs, but another Altuve lineout ended the threat.
Wieters got a one-out double in the 11th inning and was pinch ran for by Nolan Reimold. Reimold advanced to third on a ground out by Alvarez but that is where he would stay as Schoop grounded out for the third out. In the Houston half, they went quietly.
Rickard got himself a one-out double in the 13th inning. An intentional walk to Machado gave the O's two men on for the middle of the order, but the Baltimore sluggers really struggled all game. Jones and Davis struck out back-to-back for outs number two and three.
The game came to an end in the 13th inning. With Dylan Bundy pitching, Kemp led off with a long triple over the head of Jones in center field. Left with few choices, Bundy then gave Springer and Altuve intentional passes to load the passes for Carlos Correa. The phenom laced a 94 mph fastball up the middle to score Kemp and give the Astros the 3-2 win after 13 innings.
-Jones, Davis and Trumbo combined to go 1-for-17 with one walk, eight strikeouts and nine runners left on base.
-Both bullpens were really good: Houston threw 7.1 scoreless innings with six pitchers. For Baltimore, Mychal Givens, O'Day and Brach combined for five scoreless frames. Givens was especially impressive, tossing 2.1 innings and striking out four batters.
-The Orioles hitters struck out 19 times. Yeah, it was a 13 inning game, but good lord!
-Colby Rasmus was thrown out in the sixth inning while arguing balls and strikes.
It is the middle game of this three-game set. Tyler Wison (2-2, 3.68 ERA) has been announced as the starter for the Birds. The Astros will counter with righty Collin McHugh (4-4, 5.13). First pitch is set for 8:10 p.m. ET at Minute Maid Park.