BALTIMORE -- Sixteen pitches into Collin McHugh's start, the Orioles made history with their fourth home run before making an out. But the Home Run Derby-style start wasn't enough for the O's as the Astros quickly responded in the second and poured on more to win a 15-8 slugfest Friday
BALTIMORE -- Sixteen pitches into Collin McHugh's start, the Orioles made history with their fourth home run before making an out. But the Home Run Derby-style start wasn't enough for the O's as the Astros quickly responded in the second and poured on more to win a 15-8 slugfest Friday at Camden Yards.
The Astros' victory snapped a five-game losing streak as they avoided falling to .500 for the first time since mid-June. The Orioles dropped to third place in the American League East for the second time all season with Boston beating Detroit, though they remain just 1 1/2 games back of first-place Toronto. The O's still hold the second Wild Card spot in the AL, leading the Mariners by two games. The Astros are 5 1/2 games out of the second Wild Card spot.
"You can go a lot of games without seeing a five-run inning. To see two of them, one on both sides, is pretty unique," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You go from really being shellshocked in the first -- four out of the first five hitters hit homers. At 5-1, you still feel OK, like you're at least going to put a push together, and then we knocked their starter out in the top of the second. It's hard to describe because you're not used to seeing that at this level, but quite an outburst for us."
José Altuve led the Astros' offensive outburst with five RBIs, falling a triple shy of the cycle. He blasted a two-run homer in the sixth inning that landed a projected 449 feet away from home plate, according to Statcast™, to become the first Houston player to record 20 home runs and 20 stolen bases in a season since Carlos Beltrán in 2004. George Springer started the night with his sixth leadoff homer of the year. Evan Gattis and Teoscar Hernández also went deep for Houston.
McHugh lasted just three innings while allowing seven runs (six earned), but the 'pen came on to hold the Orioles to one hit over the final six innings. The Astros chased O's starter Wade Miley in the second inning with five runs, all of which came with two outs.
"I'm just not executing pitches," Miley said. "You're not going to get anybody out throwing fastballs down the middle. That's just the way it is."
The two teams combined for 28 hits and nine home runs -- all by different players. The Orioles, who entered the night leading the Majors in homers, have blasted 11 through the first two games of the series.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Down, but definitely not out: After falling down by four runs in the first inning -- thanks to four Orioles homers -- the Astros turned in one of their biggest rallies of the season. They scored five times in the second and kept adding on, taking a four-run lead themselves on a two-run homer by Altuve and a solo homer by Gattis in the sixth. It's the first time in franchise history the Astros won a game when giving up at least five homers.
"Obviously, if it's early in the game like that, you never quit and don't get down," said Springer, who went 4-for-5. "That second inning for us was huge." More >
A first-inning first:Adam Jones lined the first pitch of the bottom of the first into the left-field seats, setting the tone for a historic first inning. After Hyun Soo Kim singled, Manny Machado, Chris Davis and Mark Trumbo went back-to-back-to-back. The Orioles became the first team since 1900 to record four home runs before making their first out, according to STATS LLC. It was the first time Baltimore hit three straight home runs since Aug. 25, 2014. Trumbo's home run was his 36th, extending his Major League lead over Toronto's Edwin Encarnacion. More >
Devo whips O's: Rookie reliever Chris Devenski rose to the occasion once again by throwing four innings in relief of McHugh and allowing one hit and one run to get the win. Devenski had pitched at least three innings in relief eight times previously this season and was outstanding, allowing three earned runs in those outings. He leads all AL relievers in preventing inherited runners from scoring and is fifth in ERA.
"He's a very resilient arm with the pitches to match," Hinch said. "I continue to lean on him for multiple innings. I don't always want to use him for the length. I think he's very effective in short bursts as well. He's one of our most valuable pitchers and has been remarkable in his first season. His versatility has been remarkable."
"Our guys turn the page very quickly, just like [the Astros] did before tonight's game. You can't sit there and live in that world. If you do, you're going to have it happen again and again and again. That's why our guys have been engaged in this division, because they don't do that." -- Orioles manager Buck Showalter
"I don't know if I've ever been blitzed like that before in my career. Today's game in general was kind of a crazy game, and to start out like that is obviously not the way you draw it up." -- McHugh
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By hitting his 20th homer in the sixth inning, Altuve became the first Astros player to reach 20 homers and 20 stolen bases in a single season since Carlos Beltran, who did it in 90 games after being traded from the Royals in 2004.
Astros: Right-hander Mike Fiers (8-6, 4.66 ERA) will get the start when the Astros face the Orioles at 6:05 p.m. CT on Saturday at Oriole Park. Fiers has lost two of his last three starts and has been hampered all year by inconsistency.
Orioles:Chris Tillman (15-4, 3.46 ERA) will take the mound three days later than expected after he was scratched from Wednesday's start with right shoulder discomfort. The Orioles' ace allowed two runs in seven innings his last time out against Oakland. First pitch is 7:05 p.m. ET.
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Ryan Baillargeon is a reporter for MLB.com and covered the Orioles on Friday.
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.