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Orioles 4, Astros 3

The SportsXchange

BALTIMORE -- Chris Davis snapped a recent dry spell with a two-run homer in the sixth that gave the Baltimore Orioles the lead, and they held on for a 4-3 victory over the Houston Astros Tuesday night at Camden Yards.

Davis hadn't homered in 10 consecutive games -- none since the All-Star break -- and struck out for the 23rd straight game in his first at-bat. However, his two-run homer to left in the sixth inning off Lucas Harrell (5-11) ended the right-hander's night and gave the Orioles (59-48) a 4-3 lead. He's now got 38 homers and 99 RBI this season.

Nick Markakis scored in front of Davis after walking to start the sixth as the Astros were holding on to a 3-2 lead. Houston (35-70) took a 3-0 lead earlier in the game but couldn't hold it as the Orioles snapped a two-game losing streak.

The Orioles were very economical with their offense, finishing with three hits. J.J. Hardy's two-run single in the fourth and the Davis home run gave Baltimore all the offense it needed.

Walks also gave the Orioles a hand, especially from Harrell. He's run into a lot of trouble with walks this season and it happened again in this game as he walked five and struck out three. Of Harrell's 101 pitches, just 51 were strikes.

Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen (6-3) pitched a strong game, allowing three runs on seven hits in 7 1/3 innings. Chen struck out nine and walked just one. He really only had problems in one inning, the third, where the left-hander allowed all three of his runs.

Darren O'Day escaped some trouble and finished the eighth before Jim Johnson closed it for his major league-best 35th save.

Bud Norris was originally scheduled to start this game, but the Astros scratched him earlier in the day, fueling more speculation about his being traded before Wednesday's deadline. Harrell had been in the starting rotation this season before losing his spot earlier this month.

The Astros took a 3-0 lead thanks to a big third inning. They got four consecutive one-out singles, capped by Jose Altuve's seeing-eye grounder just past Baltimore shortstop Hardy. That two-run hit gave Houston a 2-0 lead.

Jonathan Villar made it 3-0 later in the inning with a surprisingly easy steal of home off Chen. The rookie shortstop appeared to notice Chen taking a long time getting ready to pitch to Justin Maxwell and took off, making the steal with two outs.

The Orioles answered on Hardy's two-run single in the fourth. Harrell walked the bases loaded, and Hardy singled up the middle to cut Houston's lead to 3-2.

That was Baltimore's only hit through the first five innings.

NOTES: Manny Machado got hit on the arm during batting practice but was checked out before the game and played. Adam Jones hit the ball, and Machado appeared fine during the game. ... The Astros called up two pitchers from the minors Tuesday, bringing up RHP Chia-Jen Lo from Double-A Corpus Christi and RHP Josh Zeid from Triple-A Oklahoma City. When Lo gets into a game, he'll be the first Taiwanese player to play for the Astros. ... In another move, Houston optioned RHP Hector Ambriz to Oklahoma City. Ambriz had a 2-4 record plus a 5.70 ERA in 43 relief appearances this season.
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