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Sipp just misses, and Davis doesn't

Astros reliever tagged for go-ahead homer by Orioles slugger

BALTIMORE -- The Astros bullpen has been so reliable this year that when something goes awry it comes as a surprise. That applies to veteran lefty Tony Sipp, who had gone 14 consecutive appearances without allowing a run before giving up a walk-off homer Thursday in Detroit.

After Josh Fields mowed down all four hitters he faced in the late innings Wednesday at Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Sipp came in with one out in the eighth to face Chris Davis, who crushed the first pitch he saw and sent it high over the right-field wall to lift the Orioles to a 5-4 win over the Astros.

"I just missed with it, just left it up, middle," Sipp said. "And you know, obviously, he's a guy with power and you've got to hit your spots or he'll make you pay and he did just that."

Astros manager A.J. Hinch has a deep bullpen that's ranked second in the American League with a 2.13 ERA. He's not afraid to use different relievers in different situations on different nights, but opted for the lefty-on-lefty matchup with Sipp against Davis, who homered off right-handed starter Collin McHugh early in the game.

"He's been there for us so much this year," Hinch said. "A couple of pitches got him and he got burned a little bit. It's difficult for him, and certainly not the way and indicative of how he's pitched this season. I feel bad for our team. We fight back like that and don't get the win."

The Astros rallied for three runs in the seventh to tie the game before Sipp gave up the game-winner to Davis, who recorded his first multi-homer game of the season.

"Whether it's strike one then or not, you know you can't leave a mistake," Sipp said. "You can't leave anything up in the middle with him at any point. I don't care if it's 0-2 or whatever. You know, just made a mistake right there in his hot zone and he did what he does best when you make a mistake."

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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