Astros demolish Orioles for eighth straight win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 23-2 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After holding off the Orioles for their seventh-straight win in the series opener on Friday night, Houston had the chance to make it eight straight and secure another series win with a victory on Saturday night. Here's a quick rundown of the middle game:

Final Score: Astros 23, Orioles 2.

Record: 77-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Aaron Sanchez (5-14, 5.60 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Aaron Brooks (2-6, 6.35 ERA).

1) Clear for liftoff 

After being held to just three runs the night before, Houston's offense had their way with Baltimore on Saturday night. It started in the top of the first when Alex Bregman got the scoring started with a two-out two-run home run. On the very next pitch, Yordan Alvarez extended the early lead to 3-0 with a solo home run of his own.

They did even better in the top of the second, getting a five-run inning on RBIs from Alex Bregman and Josh Reddick, a two-run homer for Jose Altuve, and scoring on a balk. They scored again in the top of the third, a monster 474-foot home run by Carlos Correa to push the lead to 9-1. They didn't hold back there, putting up another four-run inning in the top of the fifth with RBIs from Correa and Yuli Gurriel and two for George Springer, extending the lead to 13-1.

2) Sanchez gets another win 

While his offense was bludgeoning pitchers on the other side, Aaron Sanchez was able to put together another decent start himself for his new team. It wasn't a six-inning no-hitter like his debut, but he was able to hold the Orioles to just one run over five innings of work.

The run came in the first inning, a rough one for Sanchez as he would load the bases with one out. He allowed a sacrifice fly to trim the lead to 3-1 at the time but would end the threat there. He faced more traffic in the second inning after a couple of walks and an error but would do well to keep the Orioles to just one run on the board.

After that, he was able to record three clean innings, allowing just one hit during that span on a two-out double in the fifth. The five innings put him in line for another win, making it two straight for his new team. Sanchez's final line: 5 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 0 HR.

3) Bullpen finishes the last four frames while runs keep scoring

With Sanchez's night done after five innings, Houston looked to their bullpen to maintain the massive lead over the final four frames. First up was Hector Rondon who took over for Sanchez in the sixth inning. He worked around a couple of hits to keep it a thirteen-run lead.

Houston was not done scoring in this one, though, getting another run in the top of the sixth to make it 14-1, then making it their highest-scoring game of the year with a six-run top of the seventh. They scored the first two on RBIs from Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick, then loaded the bases for Yordan Alvarez who blasted his second homer of the night, this one a grand slam to push Houston ahead to an incredible 20-1 lead.

Joe Smith was the next reliever out for Houston, taking over in the 20-1 game in the bottom of the seventh. He allowed a two-out solo home run to make it 20-2 but would get through the inning to send the game to the eighth. Chris Devenski pitched a scoreless eighth, then after an RBI by Aledmys Diaz in the top of the ninth, Yordan Alvarez hit his third home run of the night to set a new franchise records in runs in a game and trying the record for hits, pushing the lead to 23-2.

Collin McHugh wrapped things off in the ninth, giving Houston their eighth straight win and seventh-straight series victory.

Up Next: Houston will attempt the sweep of this series with the finale scheduled for 12:05 PM Central on Sunday. The Astros will send ace Justin Verlander (15-4, 2.68 ERA) to the mound with hopes to continue his march towards a Cy Young award, while the Orioles are expected to counter with Asher Wojciechowski (2-5, 4.89 ERA).

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

Getty Images

So the Houston Astros, using cameras and video monitors and a labyrinthine baseball-bat-and-trash-can notification system, were stealing signs from opposing teams. From all indications, this is cheating and this is not kosher.

Let me just clarify that:

You are allowed to steal signs, you just can't do it electronically. In other words, it is really not wrong until you utilize the best means of technology.

Got it. I accept this, because, well, I don't feel like arguing this.

(I guess I'm glad the medical profession doesn't use this same standard. Uh, we could treat your headaches with Ibuprofen and heating pads, but let's stick with the ancient method of an elixir containing human blood and drilling a hole in the skull to relieve pressure.)

The Astros deserved MLB's punishment, but, as a student of history, Couch Slouch would like to point out that there have been multiple instances of similar swindling, defrauding, scamming, flimflamming, hoodwinking, fleecing, shafting, video-sign-stealing chicanery in modern and pre-modern times.

For your edification, here are some prominent examples:

Socrates and Plato: In an attempt to outsmart his perpetually smug teacher at the third annual Greek National Spelling Bee held at the Grand Hyatt Athens in 401 B.C., Plato sparked controversy by employing shadow puppets on the brightly lit north wall of the banquet hall to help him spell out different entries. The winning word: "aëricumbens."

Marie Antoinette: The somewhat unpopular queen of France hired a sketch artist to secretly document agitators cutting into bread lines. Once the drawings were discovered, along with a recording of her saying, "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche!" she was guillotined on Oct. 16, 1793 outside of a Le Pain Quotidien just before the lunch rush.

Burr-Hamilton duel: On the morning of July 11, 1804, Vice President Aaron Burr and former Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton met at a dueling ground in Weehawken, N.J., near Bed Bath & Beyond. They agreed to stand back-to-back, then each would take 10 paces before firing. But Burr had one of his seconds hold a large vanity mirror in front of him, so he could see precisely where Hamilton was at the conclusion of the 10 steps. Burr then fired a fatal shot into Hamilton's lower abdomen.

Battle of the Little Bighorn: As George Armstrong Custer led U.S. troops toward Little Bighorn Valley on June 25, 1876, Lakota chief Crazy Horse utilized two sublime tactics to outmaneuver the lieutenant colonel: A primitive GPS device, tracking the government soldiers' movement via Pringles left on the incoming trail, combined with smoke signals sent back to the camp. This allowed Native American forces to ambush Custer and his infantry.

"Rear Window": In direct violation of HOA regulations, photographer J.J. "Jeff" Jefferies – confined to his condo because of a broken leg – routinely used binoculars to eavesdrop on his Greenwich Village neighbors in 1954. This led him to witnessing a marital spat, followed by his suspicions that the husband killed his wife and buried something incriminating in the garden. The neighbor was arrested but eventually acquitted of murder charges while Jefferies got convicted under the city's recently enacted peeping Tom laws.

Macy's vs. Gimbels: During the famed department-store rivalry in the 1960s and '70s, Gimbels – using a Polaroid camera with a telephoto lens – took snapshots of Macy's shoppers' credit cards as they paid at the register to steal customers. Did Gimbels tell Macy's? No. But Macy's found out through an anonymous whistleblower; Gimbels lost face and went out of business in 1986.

New York City garbage strike: Boy, the streets sure stank of garbage when the sanitation workers walked out in 1968. Teamsters leaders sped up talks the old-fashioned way – they woke up city negotiators each morning with one trash can thrown through a living room window, with two trash cans on off-days and three on weekends. When all else failed, they took a baseball bat to Mayor John Lindsay's office and asked him if he wanted to step outside.

New England Patriots: Uh, duh.

Ask The Slouch

Q. Agent Drew Rosenhaus terminated his relationship with Antonio Brown until the free-agent wide receiver seeks help. Exactly what type of help? (Ron Kirkpatrick; Chicago)

A. Frankly, I thought Brown might end his relationship with Rosenhaus until ITAL he END ITAL got help.

Q. Are the regular LSU boosters annoyed they were not invited to personally hand out cash to the players in the Superdome after the championship win? (Mike Soper; Washington, D.C.)

A. Nah, that was scheduled for the Red Lobster in Baton Rouge the following afternoon.

Q. Given their history, would it count toward diversity if the Cleveland Browns hired their first competent coach? (Rich Tucker; Falls Church, Va.)

A. We may never find out.

Q. Would MLB have considered managing the Mets punishment enough for Carlos Beltran's role in the Astros cheating scandal? (Stuart Gavurin; Vienna, Va.)

A. Pay the man, Shirley.

You, too, can enter the $1.25 Ask The Slouch Cash Giveaway. Just email asktheslouch@aol.com and, if your question is used, you win $1.25 in cash!


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