Springer homers again, Astros beat Orioles
HOUSTON (AP) Houston rookie George Springer has had a month to remember.
And he’s not about to let up.
Springer hit a tiebreaking two-run homer in the seventh inning, and the Astros extended their winning streak to six with a 3-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles.
Springer’s shot to left off Preston Guilmet (0-1) extended the rookie’s hitting streak to 11 games and was his seventh homer in his last seven games. The shot barely got over the left field wall.
”I was screaming at it,” Springer said. ”I was saying `Go, go, go’ and it went. So thank you, baseball.”
Springer’s 10 home runs in May extended his Astros rookie record and tied him for the third most long balls by a rookie in May with Jose Canseco, Wally Joyner and Walt Dropo. Mark McGwire set the rookie record for home runs in May with 15 in 1987.
”What a guy,” Houston manager Bo Porter said of Springer. ”It’s been pretty impressive. It’s fun to watch. It’s almost must-see TV.”
Springer said he was happy to help the Astros continue winning and gave a lot of credit to the man hitting before him in the lineup, Jose Altuve, who had three hits.
”The guy that’s on base, and it’s always Jose Altuve,” Springer said of his late game poise. ”He’s always on base, and with him on base, I understand that he’s a threat. With him on base, if they miss, I have to hit it.”
Springer became the first Astros rookie to hit seven home runs in seven games and first Houston player to do it since Morgan Ensberg in 2006. Ensberg, however, hit his seven home runs over a six-game span.
”He’s an exciting player,” Porter said. ”At any moment, he can change the game with one swing. It doesn’t matter if he’s 0 for 3 or 3 for 3, he has the ability to impact the game every time he steps into the batter’s box.”
Brad Peacock allowed a run on six hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. Peacock, who was scratched prior to his scheduled start May 24 at Seattle with forearm soreness, went six innings for the fifth straight start.
Porter said it was the best Peacock had pitched all season.
Peacock said it was the best he had felt all year, and he was able to locate his pitches.
”I went out there, I wasn’t scared,” Peacock said. ”I threw my fastball, the team came up with some big plays. Springer got the homer and the team got the win. That’s all you can ask for.”
Josh Fields (1-3) threw two scoreless innings for the win, and Chad Qualls pitched the ninth for his fourth save.
Ubaldo Jimenez allowed one run on three hits with eight strikeouts in six innings. Jimenez had struggled in his last two outings, allowing 10 runs in nine innings.
”I was able to get a little bit deeper in the game and that’s always good,” Jimenez said. ”Hopefully I get deeper than that in my next game. I felt good. I was able to be there for the team.”
Houston could not take capitalize with runners in scoring position, going 0 for 11 against Jimenez and finishing 1 for 15 with runners in scoring position with the lone hit being Springer’s home run.
Nelson Cruz remained hot, extending his hit streak to 10 games with two hits, including an RBI single in the fourth that tied it at 1. The Orioles losing streak reached three games.
”It’s not always going to click together,” Baltimore manager Buck Showalter said of the Orioles’ inconsistency of late. ”You’re hoping one part of the game is good enough to offset another and we have for the most part. I have a lot of confidence that our best baseball is ahead of us. Tonight we just didn’t swing the bats well enough Ubaldo deserved a better fate.”
Jason Castro scored from third on a wild pitch by Jimenez in the second on a close play at the plate to make it 1-0. After a 4 minute, 25 second review, the call was upheld – Castro was safe.
Jimenez, who had loaded the bases with one out on two walks and a single before Castro scored, escaped the inning by inducing groundouts to Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar.
NOTES: Baltimore right-hander Tommy Hunter, on the 15-day disabled list retroactive to May 21 with a left groin strain, has been throwing on flat ground for four days and feels good, Showalter said. … Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, on the 15-day DL since May 11 with a right elbow strain, is expected to start doing light tossing Friday, Showalter said. … Houston will send lefty Brett Oberholtzer to the mound Friday against Baltimore right-hander Miguel Gonzalez in the annual Major League Baseball Civil Rights Game. There was a roundtable discussion Thursday and there will be a Beacon Awards Luncheon Friday. The Astros will wear the uniform of the Houston Eagles and the Orioles will wear the uniform of the Baltimore Elite Giants of the Negro Leagues for the game.