What a night to be an O’s fan. Unlike Friday’s game against the Astros, this one wasn’t even close. The final score reads more like a football game than a baseball game and it brought back memories of a particularly infamous loss from the 2007 season.
Aaron Brooks only made it through only three innings, and it wasn’t pretty. The Orioles’ starter was only a couple batters into the ball game when the home runs started. After a strikeout and a ground out, Michael Brantley singled and Alex Bregman followed with a two-run homer. Then Yordan Alvarez hit a moon shot to right center field. Very quickly, it was 3-0 Astros.
Baltimore responded with a run of its own in the bottom of the first. They loaded the bases but had to settle for a Jace Peterson sacrifice fly even though a lot more damage could have been done.
Houston then scored five runs in the second. Josh Reddick had an RBI single, Jose Altuve hit a two-run home run and Bregman had an RBI double. The Astros’ third baseman would later score on a balk. 8-1, Astros.
Carlos Correa added a solo home run in the third that traveled an estimated 474 feet according to Statcast, over both bullpens and into the bullpen picnic area. Never seen that before in my life. For those counting at home, Houston was up to four home runs at this point.
Brooks’ final pitching line was three innings, nine hits, nine earned runs, zero walks, three strikeouts and four home runs. He came into the game having allowed three home runs over his first 19 innings as an Oriole.
Branden Kline came on in relief and threw a scoreless fourth inning but surrendered a batch of runs the following inning. The ball stayed in the park in the fifth, but Houston still managed to add four runs to their total. 13-1, Astros.
Aaron Sanchez wasn’t quite as good as he was in his first start with Houston when he threw a no-hitter over six innings, but he still got the job done. Sanchez’s final pitching line was five innings, three hits, one run, three walks and six strikeouts.
On the O’s side, Kline was charged with five total earned runs on the night after Taylor Scott allowed an inherited runner to score in the top of the sixth on a double-play.
In the top of the seventh, the Astros pushed across two runs on RBI singles by Altuve and Jake Marisnick. Then Houston loaded the bases and Alvarez cleared them with a grand slam home, his second home run of the game. That accounted for the six runs charged to Scott in two innings.
Rio Ruiz marked his return to the Orioles — he was added to the roster from Norfolk yesterday — with a solo home run to the flag court in the seventh. But it was just a drop in the bucket at that point in the game. 20-2, Astros.
After a double play was induced by Tom Eshelman in the eighth, manager Brandon Hyde emerged from the dugout and started his stroll to the mound. Except there was one problem — no one was warming in the pen. Then it became clear, as Hyde pointed to center field, that Stevie Wilkerson was being called in to pitch.
Two pitches later, Josh Reddick popped out to third baseman Ruiz and the inning was over. Wilkerson was lobbing it into the plate in the low-to-mid 50’s.
But alas, the ninth did not go well for Stevie. After a ground out to start the inning, Altuve doubled to left and Aledmys Diaz drove him home with a single. Then big Yordan Alvarez hit his third home run of the night, a two-run shot to right, and the score was 23-2 heading into the bottom of the ninth. Wilkerson’s ERA rose from 2.25 to 6.75 after he allowed three runs over 1.1 innings.
The Astros scored 23 runs on 25 hits in this game. They had six home runs in total and went 11-for-18 with runners in scoring position. There were only two runners left on base. The Orioles pitching staff has now allowed 240 home runs on the year.
Every hitter in the Astros’ lineup had at least one hit, except for catcher Martin Maldonado, who was 0-for-5.
This shellacking brought back painful memories of the Orioles’ 30-3 loss to the Texas Rangers all the way back in 2007. Never thought we’d see a score approaching the level of that debacle again, but here we are.
After a game like tonight, one would think the Birds have nowhere to go but up tomorrow. But we’ll see.