BALTIMORE -- They watched the Orioles launch four home runs before starting pitcher Collin McHugh could even record an out in the first inning. Not exactly the kind of start that makes you believe a stirring comeback was on deck.The Astros answered the Orioles' five-run first with a five-run second
BALTIMORE -- They watched the Orioles launch four home runs before starting pitcher Collin McHugh could even record an out in the first inning. Not exactly the kind of start that makes you believe a stirring comeback was on deck.
The Astros answered the Orioles' five-run first with a five-run second to take a one-run lead and eventually pulled away to win a 15-8 slugfest on Friday night at Oriole Park at Camden Yards and snap a five-game losing streak. It's the first time in Astros history that they won a game in which they surrendered five homers.
"We're going to battle every game," said rookie center fielder Teoscar Hernández, who went 3-for-4 with three runs scored. "It doesn't matter if we're losing by five or six runs, we're going to go out there and battle for every at-bat."
Rookie Chris Devenski summed it up a little more succinctly.
"We don't quit," he said. "We're all bulldogs."
Still, when they Astros were trailing, 5-1, without even having gotten an out, there was a sense of doom. Houston erased that quickly by batting around in the second inning, scoring all five runs after two outs. José Altuve put the Astros ahead, 6-5, with a two-run double.
"Obviously, they scored early in the game, but we've got to play nine innings," Altuve said. "We've got really good hitters in this clubhouse. We know that George [Springer] set the tone hitting the homer and getting a hit-by-pitch. The key for the game -- I mean, it was everything -- but Alex Bregman's at-bats, they were very important. Two-out RBI. I think that was big for us and kept us going."
Bregman, who's hitting .333 with 12 runs scored and 10 RBIs since his 2-for-38 start, had an RBI double in the second, an RBI single in the fourth, a leadoff single in the sixth and drew a walk and scored in the seventh.
"I think our will to win today was great," Bregman said. "We just had a will to win and we came out today to the field and had our minds set on winning the game and doing whatever it took to win. We got punched in the mouth early, but then we came back and got them. I was really happy with how we played."
The top three hitters in the Astros' order -- Springer, Bregman and Altuve -- went a combined 10-for-16 with seven runs scored and nine RBIs. Hernandez, the nine-hole hitter, also had three hits, so that portion of the lineup did most of the damage.
"For whatever reason, when those guys are going, the rest of the order exhales and continues to play well," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Teoscar had a really good night. Guys throughout the order had a chance to do some damage precisely because the guys at the top were getting on base."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.