Chris Tillman (4-2, 4.97) vs Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.55)
All good things must end. Whether credit should go to the Baltimore pitching staff, or whether Houston's offense was just normalizing after being so hot for most of May - or both - the Astros were limited to five hits in each of the first two games of this series. They managed to win anyway because of outstanding pitching performances by the Houston staff both nights. Going tonight as their best starter, Dallas Keuchel didn't do poorly, turning in his ninth quality start of the season (in 11 tries). But the Astros offense only managed five hits again, and one unfortunate inning of poor control from Keuchel was more than the offense could overcome this evening. Orioles beat the Astros 4-1, snapping Houston's 7-game winning streak. The Astros finish May at 15-14, and drop back to 24-33 overall.
On the Mound:
*For 4.2 innings, Dallas Keuchel and Chris Tillman were locked in a 1-1 tie, and everything seemed to be business as usual for the Kid. But then a single followed by an extremely uncharacteristic three straight walks gifted Baltimore with two more runs, which tonight was all it took to send Keuchel to his third loss of the season. His final line: 6 IP / 6 H / 3 R / 3 ER / 3 BB / 3 K
*Jerome Williams took the final three innings, allowing only two hits and a walk while striking out four. But one of those hits came on a non-sinking sinker, which Nelson Cruz sent to visit the Conoco Pump for a solo home run in the 8th.
At the Plate:
*Obviously not much to see here, with only five hits, two walks, and one run to show. Jason Castro had the only Houston XBH this evening, going 1x4 with a double, a run scored, and a K.
*Mike-Bob Grossman earned the lone RBI on a bases-loaded grounder to first that Chris Tillman let roll, but it died in the dirt before it could go foul. Robbie finished 1x2 with a walk.
*Dexter Fowler got his first hit of the series, going 1x4 with a K.
*Matt Dominguez actually reached base three times, going 1x2 with a walk and a HBP.
*Marwin Gonzalez had the only other Astro offense, going 1x3.
Baltimore's 5th didn't start overly threatening, with a Manny Machado sandwiched between a pair of outs. Even when Caleb Joseph followed with another single, the inning was still very escapable. Dallas Keuchel came into tonight ninth in all of MLB in BB/9, but then he walked Nick Markakis. Then he walked Steve Pearce. Then he walked Nelson Cruz, and along with his control, Houston's winning streak was gone.
Man of the Match:
Uhh. Robbie Grossman, I guess? For avoiding the shutout with a dumb luck infield single RBI.
Goat of the Game:
Tough to pick on Kid Keuchy, as the offense did nothing to pick him up. But those walks were the big blow tonight.