Astros first in AL to 30 wins after beating O's
BALTIMORE -- The Astros have won 30 games and May isn't over yet.
Houston, off to the best start in franchise history, used a solid start from Scott Feldman and two RBIs from Luis Valbuena to record a 4-1 series-evening win over the Orioles Tuesday night.
"Feldman, I thought, had to battle his command the entire night," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Obviously, he pitched to the defense very well with a couple of double plays that were big. I thought our defense played very well behind him and we made plays when we had to. The game in the middle had the chance to go either direction and we ended up getting a lot of two-out base hits, which are hard to come by but good when they come."
Baltimore's only score came from Chris Davis' sacrifice fly in the sixth inning as the O's have been held to two or fewer runs in three of their past four games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
More late-inning magic: The Astros, who entered Tuesday having scored a Major League-best 81 runs in the seventh inning or later, were up to their old tricks. They scored twice in the seventh to take a 2-1 lead on an RBI single by Chris Carter and an RBI double by Jason Castro, and Valbuena smacked a two-run single in the eighth. More >
Feldman gets big double plays: Feldman won his second consecutive decision by holding the Orioles to one run and four hits in six innings. He was given a boost by getting double-play ground balls to end the first, second and third innings and pitched out of trouble repeatedly.
"I had little spurts there tonight where I wasn't too good, but fortunately at the right time made some good pitches and got them to hit it right at guys, and they made some nice turns out there," Feldman said. More >
O's bats go silent...again: Baltimore had five hits on Tuesday, three of which came from Jimmy Paredes, as the inconsistent offense again reared its head. The Orioles have been held to just seven runs total over their last 40 innings.
"I just think we've got to slow the game down," Davis said. "When you're not scoring a lot of runs, you're not swinging the bats well or like you know you can. The tendency is to press and try to overdo it, and I think you've seen that in the last few games, just guys getting out of their approach, out of their rhythm and trying to do too much with pitches that aren't good pitches to hit." More >
Tillman quality, but winless: The Orioles' Opening Day starter, Chris Tillman turned in just his second seven-inning outing of the year. But the righty had nothing to show for it, as Tillman allowed a pair of seventh-inning runs that proved to be the difference.
"Lot of positives, defensively and the way I was able to execute some pitches. All four of them were there for the most part," Tillman said of what he took away from the game.
"I think I was able to execute some pitches and get out of situations. I wasn't very good at getting the first hitter of the inning, but it put some stress on you to get pitches and to get a double play or some quick outs. I'd like to be better with that first hitter."
Tillman is winless since April 18.
Orioles flash leather: Baltimore's defense kept Tuesday's game close. The O's threw out three baserunners trying to score, highlighted by Tommy Hunter's fantastic eighth-inning grab. Hunter got a glove on Preston Tucker's sharp hopper to the mound and was able to get George Springer caught between third base and home plate.
Astros manager A.J. Hinch lost a challenge in the fourth inning. Hinch challenged that Paredes was out at third base on a double steal, but the replay confirmed the safe call was correct.
"Tilly was the reason we were in the ballgame by the way he pitched. Of course, their guy pitched pretty well, too. We didn't make many adjustments to patterns we knew were coming." -- O's manager Buck Showalter
"We split the series in Detroit and have a chance to have a winning road trip. All positive signs. That's been our goal in series is to really only focus on today's game. If you let them go any further than that, it's about winning a series and now we have a chance." -- Hinch
Astros: Right-hander Collin McHugh (5-2, 4.06 ERA) looks to win for the second time in three starts when the Astros wrap up their road trip at 3:35 p.m. CT against the Orioles at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. He has six quality starts in nine outings this year, but allowed a season-high nine hits in his last start on Friday at Detroit.
Orioles: Baltimore will send right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to the mound for Wednesday's series finale against Houston at 4:35 p.m. ET. After winning a rotation spot this spring, Jimenez has been the O's most consistent starter, going 3-3 with a 2.82 ERA.
Watch every out-of-market regular season game live on MLB.TV.