Collin McHugh (2-1, 2.79) vs Miguel Gonzalez (1-3, 5.28)
Matt Albers and Jesse Crain, we cannot welcome you back soon enough. The good Doctor (Collin) McWho was in again, after getting shelled in his last start, and tonight did not allow a run until two outs in the 6th. But the Orioles began building a picket fence that inning that the Goatpen could never stop, so with one run in each of the final five frames, Baltimore downs Houston 5-4 in 10 innings. The Astros remain a game ahead of their 2013 pace, at 11-26 overall.
On the Mound:
*Collin McHugh's rotation spot may not have immediately been on the line tonight, but certainly he needed to reestablish that he is more the pitcher from his first two starts and less the guy from his third. It was not until Adam Jones' 2-out solo HR in the bottom of the 6th that Baltimore was able to dent McHugh's armor tonight, and he finished with a 6.1 IP / 7 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 2 BB / 4 K line.
*Tony Sipp retired the only batter he faced, and earned the distinction of being the only Astros reliever not to surrender a run tonight.
*Josh Zeid struck out Manny Machado for the last out of the 7th, but allowed a solo HR to Nelson Cruz leading off the 8th, which put Houston down 3-2.
*Anthony Bass got the 9th after a Houston rally in the top of the inning gave them a 4-3 lead, but of course he couldn't hold it, allowing 3 singles and a walk, all with two outs, resulting in a 4-4 tie.
*Then Paul (Not Roger) Clemens came in for the 10th, and retired the first batter, but allowed a single and a double following, which gifted Baltimore the 5-4 win.
At the Plate:
*It's a crying shame that the Goatpen had to be the story again, because the offense provided some nice highlights that would be more exciting if it hadn't all been for naught.
*Gerorge Springer provided the first of those, earning his second big league home run tonight with a solo shot to left in the 2nd. He also doubled and finished 2x5 with 3 K.
*Jose Altuve was all set to be the hero, with a 2-out, 2-run single in the top of the 9th that flipped a 3-2 deficit into a 4-3 lead. For the night, he finished 2x4 with a BB and 2 SB.
*Dexter Fowler had the other RBI on a single in the 3rd, finishing 1x3 with 2 BB and a SB.
*Matt Dominguez got the cleanup spot tonight and went 2x5.
*Marc Krauss had a key double in the 9th, before he was lifted for pinch-runner Dallas Keuchel (of course), finishing 1x4 with a K. Keuchel later scored a run for his trouble.
*Jonathan Villar was 1x4 with a steal of third, 2 runs scored, and a K.
*Jason Castro (1x5, 2 K) and Chris Carter (1x4) also had hits.
With two outs in the top of the 9th, Jose Altuve singled home Dallas Keuchel and Jonathan Villar to put Houston up 4-3. With two outs in the bottom of the 9th, a Delmon Young infield single off Anthony Bass plated Jonathan Schoop to send the game to extras. Houston got Matt Dominguez to second base but no further in the top of the 10th, then Paul Clemens got Matt Wieters to ground out leading off Baltimore's half. But on an 0-1 pitch, J.J. Hardy singled, then Steve Clevenger doubled one pitch later, and that was the ballgame.
Man of the Match:
Jose Altuve. Blown lead or not, his 9th inning effort was huge.
Goat of the Game:
The Goatpen - Zeid, Bass, and Clemens tonight.