O’s End Miserable Season with Victory

It was a tale of two franchises going in different directions. The Orioles lost a franchise record 115 games. Even the hapless St. Louis Browns could not lose that many games, but they only played a 154 game season. The Astros won 103 games to finish with the most wins in their franchise history. They treated this game like an exhibition game, starting their stars (except Carlos Correa) but taking them out early. The Astros came out swinging, which cut the game time to two hours and 20 minutes. Three different Oriole pitchers limited the Astros to just one hit in their 4-0 win, scoring all four runs in the fourth inning.

Jimmy Yacabonis got the start for the Orioles, facing a bunch of Astro hitters anxious to get back home to prepare for the playoffs. Four of the first six hitters swung at the first pitch thrown by Yacabonis. The Astros got their first and only hit off him in the fourth inning, a line drive single by Jose Altuve into centerfield. Yacabonis hit two batters and walked one hitter in the third and fourth inning and was taken out after four. The Oriole relief corp of Paul Fry (three innings) and Mychal Givens pitched a perfect five innings of relief afterward.

The Astros started Charlie Morton, working him for three innings. He struck out four to pass the 200 mark for the season, the first time he has accomplished that feat in his career. He gave up one hit and walked one, both in the second inning.

The pitcher who gave up all the runs was Brad Peacock, who could retire only one of the six hitters he faced. Jonathan Villar, Tim Beckham and Renato Nunez rocketed doubles off him. Villar got such a big jump from second that he could have walked into third after the ball reached the catcher. Chris Devenski was able to contain the damage to four runs, retiring the last two hitters and stranding D.J. Stewart on third.

Game Notes: As they have been doing all weekend the Oriole fans gave Adam Jones a standing ovation with each at bat. In the top of the ninth Jones went out to play right field but after Mychal Givens threw his warm up pitches Joey Rickard came out to replace him, giving the fans another opportunity to give him a standing ovation. At the start of the game Jones ran out to his spot for the National Anthem and no teammates followed him. The crowd again gave him a standing ovation. All the standing O’s seemed a bit too much, but Jones was a franchise changer, responsible for putting the O’s back in the playoffs when no one thought they had a chance…Jones got to start the game in centerfield but then moved to right field in the second inning. Jones finished the day 0 for 4…Jose Altuve fell short of 200 hits, the last time that happened was in 2013. A long stint on the disabled list prevented him from reaching that goal for a fifth consecutive season…The 200 strikeouts by Morton put him with Justin Verlander and Gerrit Cole as three Astro starting pitchers with 200 or more strikeouts. The last time that happened was in 1969 when Larry Dierker, Don Wilson and Tom Griffin accomplished that feat.

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