Rookie sensation George Springer, who came into Thursday Night's game having hit six home runs in his last six games, continued to swing a hot bat as he launched a 3-2 pitch in the seventh over the left field wall for a two run home run off Baltimore Orioles reliever Preston Guilmet to break a 1-1 tie and give the Houston Astros a 3-1 victory in the series opener.
Springer's two run homer, his 10th of the season, would turn out to be the game winner as the Astros bullpen retired the Orioles in order in the final two frames to secure the victory.
Both starting pitchers went six innings apiece, but looked far different from each other outside of the fact that both allowed just one run.
Baltimore's Ubaldo Jimenez found himself in multiple jams, but worked his way out of them, while Houston's Brad Peacock scattered his base runners to only really face two jams on the night, but in the end, both pitchers allowed just one run each in six innings of work. Jimenez allowed three hits, three walks, one hit by pitch and struck out eight, but needed 112 pitches. It wasn't a pretty start, but it was an effective start for Jimenez as he allowed just one run in six innings of work, which you will take every time.
Peacock on the other hand, allowed six hits, zero walks and struck out eight, but only needed 93 pitches. The odd thing is that Peacock entered the game with one of the highest walk ratios in the league, but was able to get ahead of Orioles hitters most of the night and used their aggressiveness against them.
It was a surprise to see Guilmet give up the home run as he had not allowed an earned run in his six innings with the Orioles this season, in face, he had not allowed a hit prior to last night. We knew it was only a matter of time before he did allow a run, but it just came at an unfortunate time for Guilmet the Orioles.
Baltimore's offense did not get much going all night as they totaled seven hits, but did not draw a single walk in the game and struck out 12 times. Nelson Cruz had the lone multi-hit game as he went 2-4 including the Orioles' lone RBI. Cruz drove in Steve Pearce with two outs in the fourth inning to tie the game at one. Both Chris Davis and JJ Hardy struck out three times in game.
The win was Houston's sixth in a row.
The Orioles are now 26-26 and will look to get back over the .500 mark tonight as they send Miguel Gonzalez (3-3) to the mound to face the left hander Brett Oberholtzer (1-6) with first pitch scheduled for 8:10 p.m. EST.
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