Astros win seventh straight game

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

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 3-2 win
Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

The Astros were riding a six-game winning streak into a three-game series with the Orioles in Baltimore on Friday night. Here is a quick recap of the series opener:

Final Score: Astros 3, Orioles 2.

Record: 76-40, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Wade Miley (11-4, 2.99 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Dylan Bundy (5-12, 5.04 ERA).

1) Another win for Miley

Wade Miley did his job against the Orioles on Friday night, throwing another low-score solid start. He only allowed a few hits in the early goings of the game but allowed a costly hit in the bottom of the fifth when he allowed a solo home run to get the Orioles within a run at 2-1.

He quickly moved past the homer, finishing the fifth then getting two outs into the sixth before his pitch count caught up with him and Houston made the call to their bullpen. Miley's final line: 5.2 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HR. The one-run start not only kept Miley in line for his eleventh win of the season, but it also moved his ERA below 3.00 at 2.99

2) Offense not as strong as expected, but strong enough

It looked like Houston's bats were going to feast on Baltimore's pitching after their successful first inning. It started with a one-out single by Jose Altuve, who would come around to score the first run of the game on a two-out RBI-double by Alex Bregman. Yordan Alvarez was up next and continued his fantastic introduction to the league with an RBI of his own, a single to score Bregman and extend the lead to 2-0.

They would go surprisingly quiet after that, getting only a handful of hits through the middle innings. After the Orioles cut the lead in half in the fifth, Houston was able to push it back to two runs in the top of the seventh. Robinson Chirinos led the inning off with a single, then scored on an RBI-triple by Jose Altuve.

3) Make it seven straight wins

After Will Harris finished the sixth for Wade Miley, it was Joe Smith who took over on the mound for the seventh. He would complete the inning, but not without allowing Baltimore's second solo home run of the night to make it a 3-2 Houston lead.

Ryan Pressly made his return from the injured list in the bottom of the eighth inning and was able to keep Baltimore scoreless by working around a one-out walk and single, stranding both with back-to-back strikeouts to send things to the ninth. Roberto Osuna took over for another save opportunity in the bottom of the ninth and converted it to finish off Houston's seventh win in a row

Up Next: This series continues with game two on Saturday at 6:05 PM Central from Baltimore. The expected pitching matchup is Aaron Brooks (2-5, 5.45 ERA) for the Orioles going against newly acquired Aaron Sanchez (4-14, 5.76 ERA) who will be looking to repeat the success of his hitless six-inning debut with the Astros last weekend.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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More changes are coming in MLB. Photo by Logan Riely/Getty Images.

Ronald Acuña Jr. and Corbin Carroll just got a little more dangerous. Same for Bobby Witt Jr., Elly De La Cruz and the rest of baseball's fastest players.

Major League Baseball wants umpires to crack down on obstruction, and the commissioner's office outlined plans during a call with managers this week. MLB staff also will meet managers in person during spring training to go over enforcement.

The increased emphasis is only on the bases and not at home plate. The focus is on infielders who drop a knee or leg down in front of a bag while receiving a throw, acting as a deterrence for aggressive baserunning and creating an increased risk of injuries.

“I think with everything, they’re trying to make the game a little safer to avoid some unnecessary injuries," Phillies shortstop Trea Turner said Friday at the team's facility in Florida. “The intentions are always good. It comes down to how it affects the players and the games. I’m sure there will be plays where one team doesn’t like it or one team does.”

With more position players arriving at spring training every day, the topic likely will come up more and more as teams ramp up for the season.

“We'll touch on that. We'll show them some video of what’s good and what’s not,” Texas Rangers manager Bruce Bochy said. “You know, it’s going to be a little adjustment.”

Making obstruction a point of emphasis fits in with an ongoing effort by MLB to create more action. Obstruction calls are not reviewable, which could lead to some disgruntled players and managers as enforcement is stepped up, but it also means it won't create long replay deliberations.

A package of rule changes last season — including pitch clocks, bigger bases and limits on defensive shifts and pickoff attempts — had a dramatic effect. There were 3,503 stolen bases in the regular season, up from 2,486 in 2022 and the most since 1987.

MLB changed a different baserunning rule this offseason, widening the runner’s lane approaching first base to include a portion of fair territory. MLB also shortened the pitch clock with runners on base by two seconds to 18 and further reducing mound visits in an effort to speed games.

“Last year, you know, a lot of our preparation was around like, especially just the unknown of the clock and making sure like we’re really buttoned up on that," New York Yankees manager Aaron Boone said. "These guys are so used to it in so many ways that sometimes I even forget.”

Increased enforcement could lead to more action on the basepaths. But a significant element of MLB's motivation is injury prevention.

Top players have hurt hands or wrists on headfirst slides into bases blocked by a fielder. White Sox slugger Luis Robert Jr. sprained his left wrist when he slid into Jonathan Schoop's lower left leg on a steal attempt during an August 2022 game against Detroit.

“It’s been happening for a while. It’s been getting out of control," Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “I know some of the players complained about it the last two years.”

While acknowledging his reputation as a significant offender, Phillies second baseman Bryson Stott didn't sound too worried about his play.

“We like to fight for outs at second base,” he said. "It’s never on purpose, blocking the base. For me, or someone covering second to the shortstop side, it’s a natural move for your knee to go down to reach the ball. It’s never intentional. I guess we’ll figure out how to maneuver around that.”

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