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Plenty of Astros reach base, not enough score

Houston goes 1-for-11 with RISP during loss to Orioles

BALTIMORE -- Astros manager A.J. Hinch liked what he saw at the top of the batting order Monday afternoon with George Springer and Jose Altuve going a combined 5-for-9 with two runs scored. It was what happened after they were on base that proved to be frustrating.

The Astros were 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and squandered several chances in the early innings against the Orioles, who used a pair of two-run homers to win the series opener, 4-3, at Oriole Park at Camden Yards.

"We had multiple baserunners a lot of innings in a row and he wiggled his way out of it a couple of different times," Hinch said of Baltimore starter Wei-Yin Chen. "It's good pitching. He mixes and matches all of his pitches and competes and throws a lot of balls in to get you off the stuff away. He did a good job of minimizing the damage when we could have really broke things open."

Springer and Altuve, hitting first and second, respectively, in the order for the first time this year, began the game with singles on consecutive pitches and were left stranded. Preston Tucker and Jonathan Villar started the second with consecutive singles, and Chen got a double play and a strikeout to escape.

The Astros, who wasted two-out doubles in the third and fourth innings, had four singles in a six at-bat span in the fifth and managed a pair of runs on a Chris Carter single to take a 3-2 lead. But the Orioles sent down the final 13 hitters.

"That's the game," said Springer, who homered to lead off the third inning. "Sometimes you get those hits, and if we do it's a completely different ballgame. He threw well. He was able to get himself out of some jams and that's baseball."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
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