BALTIMORE — The Baltimore Orioles have shown lots of power in the first two games of their series with Houston but the Astros continued banging out hits, a big reason they've each won one.
Now, the question for Saturday's game is which offense can do more.
The Orioles (67-54) lead the major leagues with 188 homers and already have hit 11 in the first two games.
They belted six in Thursday's 13-5 victory. Then, they hit five on Friday — four of which came before Houston (62-60) recorded an out in the first inning, a new major league mark — but the pitching could not hold an early four-run lead as the Astros rallied for a 15-8 victory.
Houston banged out seven hits in Thursday's loss. The Astros then rebounded Friday with 18 hits and runs in seven innings in that victory.
Orioles manager Buck Showalter said his team simply has to forget about this game and move on.
“Our guys turn the page very quickly, just like their team did before tonight's game,” Showalter said. “You can't sit there and live in that world. If you do, you're going to have it happen again and again and again.”
Baltimore now will need stopper Chris Tillman to step up on Saturday as the Orioles have dropped three of their last four games. Tillman (15-4, 3.46) was moved back three days due to some shoulder issues. He had been scheduled to start the second game of the Boston series but Dylan Bundy stepped in.
Tillman last pitched when he went seven innings in last Thursday's 9-6 victory in Oakland. He allowed two runs in seven innings.
The right-hander will face right-hander Mike Fiers (8-6, 4.66). He lasted 4 2/3 innings and took the loss in last Sunday's 9-2 defeat against Toronto, allowing five runs despite striking out seven.
This is going to be his first career appearance versus the Orioles.
Houston needs better work from its starters, who've had issues lately. In this series, Joe Musgrove gave up eight runs in 5 1/3 innings Thursday and took the loss.
On Friday, Collin McHugh allowed four homers to the first five batters and eventually allowed seven runs in three innings. Manager A.J. Hinch said the starters need to take the pressure off of the tired bullpen.
“We're at our best when our starters are getting us at least the sixth and seventh, and now we're having a hard time getting through four and five innings,” Hinch said. “It's never ideal for your staff when your starters take it on the chin, and you're usually playing from behind, you're usually depleting your bullpen.”
Hinch also confirmed that center fielder Jake Marisnick isn't quite 100 percent due to groin issues. To that end, the skipper said he'll probably put him in the lineup every other day for a while. He did not play Friday.
For the Astros, the question now is how much a victory like Friday can give them a spark as they ended a five-game losing streak in a strong way.
“These games are never over,” said Houston right fielder George Springer. “To get down after the first inning and then just to keep fighting back when they took the lead and kind of extended it … is big for us.”