BALTIMORE -- If this September, and the whole second half really, is all about guys capitalizing on opportunity, then consider David Hess' outing Friday one heck of an audition.Hess held the defending World Series champions to one run over seven innings as the rookie righty more than held his own
BALTIMORE -- If this September, and the whole second half really, is all about guys capitalizing on opportunity, then consider David Hess' outing Friday one heck of an audition.
Hess held the defending World Series champions to one run over seven innings as the rookie righty more than held his own in the series-opening 2-1 loss to the Astros at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.
"It's been an up-and-down season in a lot of aspects, and so I really wanted to go out there tonight and just kind of put a good taste in everybody's mouth going into the offseason and into next season and kind of show everybody what we're capable of," said Hess, who matched a season high in innings with his eighth quality start this season.
"We had great defense back there as a team. [Catcher Austin Wynns] called a great game, and I just threw the best pitches I could."
The 25-year-old Hess allowed three hits and issued two walks, striking out four and exiting in a tie game. He outlasted Astros starter Gerrit Cole, who went six frames to surpass the 200-innings mark, holding Baltimore to just one run in the process.
After a day off, given Thursday's rainout, both clubs did little offensively.
The O's run came in the first inning courtesy of Adam Jones' double, which scored Jonathan Villar. Houston's only run on Hess was Josh Reddick's homer in the sixth.
"That was fun to watch. It was good to see him end on a good note," O's manager Buck Showalter said of Hess, who is tied for the third-most quality starts among American League rookies. " I really wanted him to have a good outing. That was good to see. I told him that. I didn't want to push it any more than that. Any time you see a young pitcher go against a good team for a third time around the batting order and still be able to get outs, that's good to see."
Houston scored the decisive run in the eighth, with Tanner Scott allowing Marwin Gonzalez's RBI single to left field. The hit scored Jake Marisnick and gave the Astros the lead for good.
"I just wasn't executing pitches" said Scott, who took the loss. "Hess did a great job today, went seven, only gave up a run, and then I came in and wasn't able to execute a pitch."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
With a man on second and two outs, the Orioles came close to tying the game as Renato Nunez hit a sinking liner into center field. But Jake Marisnick, who came in as a defensive replacement in the sixth, hustled in and made a diving grab, getting hugged by teammates as he secured the win.
JONES' SWAN SONG
Baltimore fans made sure the longtime Orioles outfielder knew how much he meant to them, giving Jones several ovations at the plate. The final one, in the ninth, was the loudest of the night and the crowd got to its feet again after Jones hit a deep lineout.
"It doesn't surprise me. Our fans know what Adam has meant. He's been a constant through thick and thin, knowing what you can expect out of Adam," Showalter said. "That's what managers, coaches, general managers, owners, fans -- they're all looking for someone they can count on. You know what you're going to get when they get through playing that song. He's a very dependable guy, just like a lot of people we've had here, but not necessarily the longevity he's had. To be able to do it over that period of time, I think people really appreciate it and want to thank him for it."
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Jace Peterson made a nice jumping snag on Evan Gattis' liner in the ninth inning.
HE SAID IT
"I can hear everything. I appreciate it, but like I said, I'm focused on the pitcher, Gerrit Cole. If I lose any focus on him, he gets you out. Just try to keep my focus on them." -- Jones, on the ovations
The Orioles and Astros will play a doubleheader on Saturday, sending Dylan Bundy to the mound for Game 1 and Yefry Ramirez for Game 2. Houston will counter with Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel. First pitch of the opener is 4:05 p.m. ET.
Brittany Ghiroli has covered the Orioles for MLB.com since 2010. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @britt_ghiroli, and listen to her podcast.