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Astros 11, Orioles 7

The SportsXchange

HOUSTON -- The Houston Astros recorded six home runs from six different players and then held off a late Baltimore Orioles rally before completing an 11-7 victory Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.

After left fielder J.D. Martinez belted a two-run homer off Orioles right-hander Steve Johnson in the fourth inning, the Astros (22-38) led 9-1.

But Baltimore (33-26) posted consecutive three-run innings in the seventh and eighth and had the tying run at the plate in the latter frame before right-hander Hector Ambriz induced an inning-ending double play from Orioles shortstop J.J. Hardy to squelch the rally.

Hardy hit his 13th homer and catcher Matt Wieters his eighth for Baltimore. Astros closer Jose Veras worked a scoreless ninth despite the non-save situation to preserve the win for left-hander Dallas Keuchel (3-2), who allowed one run on five hits and two walks over six innings.

Orioles right-hander Freddy Garcia, who was signed by Houston 20 years ago as a free agent out of Venezuela, made his first appearance against his first organization in nine years. Garcia was part of a package of players Houston shipped to the Seattle Mariners in exchange for Randy Johnson at the 1998 trade deadline and, 15 years into his career, Garcia has won more than half of his 154 games with the Mariners.

His homecoming was dismal. Houston designated hitter Jason Castro and first baseman Carlos Pena bashed two-run home runs into the home bullpen in right-center field in the first inning, erasing the Orioles' 1-0 lead. Shortstop Marwin Gonzalez added a solo homer with one out in the second, also into the Houston bullpen, before third baseman Matt Dominguez chased Garcia with a leadoff homer in the fourth inning.

Garcia allowed a season-high six earned runs while pitching a season-low three innings. He looked every bit of his 36 years, victimized by an Astros power surge.

NOTES: Top Astros prospect Jonathan Singleton was transferred to Double-A Corpus Christi and started Wednesday night against Midland. In six games with Class A Quad Cities, Singleton hit .286 with three home runs and five RBIs. Singleton missed the first 50 games of the season following a suspension for a second positive drug test. ... The Orioles had won seven consecutive games against the Astros, the fourth-longest streak by Baltimore against one club since 2005.
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