American League Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, May 31st (All times Eastern)
Baltimore Orioles (26-27) at Houston Astros (24-32), 4:10 p.m.
Probable Starting Pitchers: Baltimore - Chris Tillman (4-2, 4.97) Houston - Dallas Keuchel (6-2, 2.55)
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros will attempt to extend their current winning streak on Saturday when they battle the Baltimore Orioles in the third contest of a four-game series.
RBI doubles from Robbie Grossman and Jonathan Villar in the seventh inning lifted the Astros to a 2-1 victory over Baltimore on Friday. The win was the seventh straight for Houston, which had not won that many games in a row since 2010.
Houston had only five hits as a team in the win, but that was enough for Brett Oberholtzer, who picked up his second win of the season by limiting the Orioles to a single run over seven innings of worked. Chad Qualls earned his fifth save of the season by working 1 1/3 scoreless innings to close things out.
"You know early I didn't have my stuff," said Oberholtzer. "I just tried to keep pushing, compete and the final result was good. We got a win."
Baltimore wasted a strong outing from Miguel Gonzalez in the loss. The right- hander surrendered just two runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings. However the Orioles were limited to just five hits, with Adam Jones double in the second inning the only one to go for extra bases.
The Orioles have lost four straight games.
"They have been playing good ball," said Gonzalez of the Astros. "You just have to tip your hat to them. They are playing good baseball."
Getting the start for Baltimore on Saturday is Chris Tillman. The right-hander has really struggled in his last two starts, giving up a combined 14 runs on as many hits in just 6 2/3 innings. However, he did not factor in the decision in either contest and remains 4-2 on the season. His ERA did not stay in tact like his record, however, ballooning to a season-high of 4.97.
This will be the second time this month Tillman will face the Astros, having gotten a start against them in Baltimore on May 11. In that appearance Tillman surrendered three runs and walked a season-high five batters en route to a 5-2 loss. It was just his second career start against Houston. He had more success the first time around, allowing just one run over seven innings while striking out eight on June 4 of last season.
Houston ace Dallas Keuchel will oppose Tillman.
In another season marred by disappointment for Houston, Keuchel has been one of very few bright spots. The left-hander, who is in his third season, is 6-2 with a sparkling ERA of 2.55. His six wins match his entire total from a year ago. Keuchel is also eating up innings, having pitched 70 2/3 innings over his 10 starts on the campaign.
His last three starts have been particularly impressive. After throwing a shutout against Texas on May 13, he followed up with two runs allowed over 8 2/3 innings against the Angels before recording another complete game in a 4-1 win over Seattle. He has won four straight starts overall.
Keuchel has only faced Baltimore once before, but he had success in that lone meeting, lasting six innings of one-run ball in an 11-7 victory last season.
This is the second series between these teams this season. Houston took two of three from the Orioles earlier this month in Baltimore.
05/31 10:32:24 ET