Orioles try to stay on track with split against Astros

By The Sports NetworkJune 1, 2014 at 9:35 AM
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On Sunday the Baltimore Orioles will attempt to salvage a split of a four-game series with the Houston Astros.

The Astros had won seven straight games, including the first two of this weekend's series, before Baltimore posted a 4-1 victory on Saturday.

Nelson Cruz went 2-for-2 with a home run and three RBI to lead the way for Baltimore, which ended a four-game losing streak with the victory.

"I'm in the zone right now," said Cruz, who leads the majors with 20 home runs.

Chris Tillman was responsible for the win, pitching 6 2/3 innings and allowing just one run on four hits. Zach Britton pitched a scoreless ninth inning to pick up his fourth save of the year.

"We all needed this one; not just him," said Orioles manager Buck Showalter of Tillman. "As much as we talk about quality pitching against us, our guys have done a good job as well."

Dallas Keuchel made his way through six innings and allowed three runs for Houston as he was tagged with the loss. Robbie Grossman drove in the lone run for Houston on the day with an infield single in the second inning.

"I just didn't have a good feel out there. Maybe my sights were a bit low or outside," noted Keuchel.

Wei-Yin Chen will be on the mound for the Orioles on Sunday.

The recent past has not been kind to Chen, who has allowed 10 runs in 11 2/3 innings in his last two starts after giving up only 20 runs, 19 of which were earned, in his first 46 1/3 innings of the season. Fortunately he did not take a loss in either outing, keeping his record at a solid 5-2, although his ERA has ballooned to 4.50.

This will be just the third career start against the Astros for Chen. The left-hander won the first two and allowed five runs in 14 1/3 combined innings.

Scott Feldman gets another start against a former team on Sunday when he starts for Houston.

Feldman came over to Baltimore last season in a trade from Chicago and went on to pitch in 15 games for the Orioles. He then signed a three-year contract with the Astros in the offseason.

In his first year in Houston Feldman has been solid, posting a record of 3-2 and an ERA of 3.02. He has not allowed more than four earned runs in any of his eight starts, including five starts of two or fewer runs allowed.

He added to that total last time out when he earned a win against Kansas City by letting up just a pair of runs on eight hits in six innings.

Feldman has already faced Baltimore once this season, taking the hill on May 9 when he lasted six innings and allowed two runs, while striking out a season- high six batters. In his career he is 4-1 with a 3.75 ERA against the Orioles.

This is the second series between these teams this season. Houston took two of three from the Orioles earlier this month in Baltimore.


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