Battered Orioles get no break with Astros' arrival
The Baltimore Orioles were playing well before the New York Yankees came to town for a three-game series this week, going unbeaten in their previous three series. New York then crushed 16 homers and scored 32 runs in a three-game sweep.
Life doesn't get any easier for the Orioles on Friday as the Astros come to Camden Yards. Houston has won six in a row and nine of 10, capped by a 14-3 victory over the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday in which Yuli Gurriel tied a club record with eight RBIs.
Gurriel had three homers and 11 RBIs in the Astros' two-game sweep of the Rockies, giving him 23 homers and 80 RBIs for the season.
"You get that feeling every time he comes up that something positive is going to happen, and he's locked in on pitch recognition and staying in the at-bat and having a really good plan," Astros manager AJ Hinch said, according to MLB.com. "He's a big part of the culture in here. Everybody in that room is really excited and happy for him, and he's doing his thing quite often."
The Astros have a power-packed lineup that owns a team batting average of .272, tied for second in the major leagues after Wednesday's games with another team the Orioles know.
Houston, sporting a 75-40 record that is the best in franchise history after 115 games, will start former Oriole Wade Miley (10-4, 3.05 ERA) in the series opener Friday. The left-hander had problems in Baltimore, going 10-20 with a 5.75 ERA in 2016 and '17, but has found his way with the Astros.
Miley, 4-0 with a 2.09 ERA in his past seven starts, will be up against right-hander Dylan Bundy (5-11, 5.15 ERA).
Bundy got a no-decision in his latest outing, allowing two runs in 5 1/3 innings Saturday against the Toronto Blue Jays. He is 1-0 with a 4.41 ERA in his past three starts.
Miley has a 2-2 mark and a 5.33 ERA in five career starts against the Orioles. Bundy is 0-2 with a 5.40 ERA in five career appearances (four starts) versus Houston.
The biggest problems for the Orioles will be to shake off all of the bad effects of the disastrous New York series -- the runs, the home runs, the losses and the dugout incident between first baseman Chris Davis and manager Brandon Hyde that was caught on camera in the series finale.
In the fifth inning, Hyde leaned in and appeared to say something that Davis, a usually low-key person, did not like. Davis went after Hyde, who had started walking down the tunnel, and the player needed to be restrained by a few others in the dugout.
After that, Hyde pinch-hit for Davis.
"It was just a disagreement in the dugout," Hyde told the media. "What was said and what we talked about, I'm not going to get into. We're going to keep it in-house.
"Frustration boils over a little bit when we're not playing our best baseball the last couple games. Unfortunately, I'm embarrassed that it was caught on camera and people had to see it, but sometimes those things happen."
--Field Level Media
Updated August 8, 2019