Astros 6, Orioles 4

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HOUSTON (AP)—The Baltimore Orioles had a hard time believing Houston ace Wade Miller’s record.

“He has nasty stuff. I don’t know how he’s 4-6,” Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said.

Miller won for the fourth time in his last seven starts, allowed four hits over seven innings as the Astros rallied to win 6-4 Wednesday night.

Miller faltered briefly in the sixth inning when Jay Gibbons hit a three-RBI double. But for the most part, Miller was the dominating pitcher who was 15-4 last year.

“He’s got great stuff, a really live fastball and a hard slider,” Gibbons said. “We’d heard about him and knew he was good. His pitches were tough to pick up.”

Miller pitched a two-hit complete game in his last start, a 9-1 victory over the Chicago Cubs.

“It was a combination of me feeling good and I haven’t faced them, so they didn’t know what I was bringing,” Miller said. “You go face a team, they’re not sure of your pitch sequence in and out, and it definitely favored me today. … I’ve got to carry these two games over and pitch good the rest of the year.”

The Astros, who moved within percentage points of the first-place Cubs in the NL Central, got some offense going, too.

Trailing 3-2, the Astros scored three runs in the seventh on an RBI double by Craig Biggio, a run-scoring single by pinch-hitter Gregg Zaun and a wild pitch by B.J. Ryan, who replaced starter Pat Hentgen (1-3) after Biggio’s double.

Morgan Ensberg’s RBI single in the eighth made it 6-3.

“We have a lot of good hitters,” Lance Berkman said. “We have seven guys with 20 or more RBIs. We’re getting contributions from everybody and we’re getting big hits from everybody. We have confidence we can come back in the late innings.”

The Astros scored six runs in the eighth on Tuesday night for an 11-6 victory over the Orioles.

After Miller retired 15 of the first 18 batters he faced, he loaded the bases with no outs in the sixth on a single by Brian Roberts, a double by Luis Matos and a walk to Melvin Mora.

Jeff Conine flew out to right fielder Orlando Merced, who made a strong throw home to keep the bases loaded, but Gibbons followed with a three-run double to the gap in left-center for a 3-2 lead.

Miller allowed three runs, all earned. He struck out eight and walked two, after striking out 14 in his start against the Cubs.

“His last two starts to me have been most impressive,” manager Jimy Williams said. “What he has done in the last two games is all you could ask of anyone.”

Mora’s fourth-inning single extended his hitting streak to 16 games. Matos has hit safely in 11 straight games since he was called up from Triple-A Ottawa.

Jose Vizcaino’s two-run homer in the second opened the scoring.

Billy Wagner, who scored his first career run on Ensberg’s hit, pitched 1 1-3 innings for his 16th save in 17 opportunities. He allowed only Tony Batista’s solo homer leading off the ninth.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been past first base,” Wagner said. “I don’t expect to be out there standing on a base.”

Notes

The Orioles have reached double figures in hits in 13 of their last 14 games. … Hentgen missed most of last year after ligament replacement surgeryon his right elbow. … Berkman extended his hitting streak to 11 games.

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