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(Wednesday, July 31st)
Final Score: Houston 11, Baltimore 0
Baltimore, MD (Sports Network) - The Houston Astros traded their top starter to the Baltimore Orioles just before Wednesday's trade deadline, then went out and crushed the playoff contenders, 11-0, in the middle test of a three-game series at Camden Yards.
Jason Castro highlighted Houston's 15-hit outburst with a grand slam and two doubles, Matt Dominguez went 4-for-5 with a home run and two RBI, and Robbie Grossman added a two-run homer for Houston, which had been 0-7 all-time at Camden Yards.
The rout came hours after Houston sent Bud Norris to Baltimore in exchange for outfielder L.J. Hoes, pitcher Josh Hader and a 2014 competitive-balance pick.
Brett Oberholtzer (1-0) was called upon in anticipation of Houston trading Erik Bedard, but that deal never came to fruition and the rookie pitched flawlessly over seven scoreless frames in his first career start, allowing just three hits while striking out six with no walks.
"He did a great job of attacking the strike zone," Astros manager Bo Porter said of his young starter.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-5), meanwhile, didn't make it out of the fourth and lost consecutive decisions for the first time in his short career. He was shelled for nine runs -- four earned -- on nine hits in 3 2/3 innings as the Orioles lost for the sixth time in their last eight games.
After breezing through a five-pitch first inning, Gonzalez found trouble in the second and was reached for four runs. Castro led off with a one-hopper over the center-field wall, then scored on Brandon Barnes' two-out double to the right-field gap.
Dominguez tacked on a run-scoring single up the middle just before Grossman launched the first home run of his career, a no-doubter deep to right field that wound up on Eutaw Street.
Gonzalez stranded a pair in scoring position in the third and appeared to escape a bases-loaded jam in the fourth when he got Jose Altuve to hit a ground ball to J.J. Hardy. The sure-handed shortstop misplayed the routine bouncer, however, and Barnes scored to make it a 5-0 game.
The error came with two outs to extend the inning, and Castro took advantage by redirecting a 3-1 fastball over the center-field wall for his first career grand slam, effectively ending Gonzalez's outing.
Brett Wallace singled home Altuve in the sixth, pushing the Astros into double digits, and Dominguez smacked a solo homer off Francisco Rodriguez an inning later.
Oberholtzer, who had made three relief appearances this season, was pulled after throwing 87 pitches, 60 going for strikes.
Chia-Jen Lo and Jose Cisnero each tossed an inning in relief to complete the shutout.
"We haven't swung the bats real well as of late," Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. "We have to get back to what we're capable of."
The Astros scored at least 11 runs for the third time this season. It was also their third shutout of the year ... Castro's grand slam was the first by an Astros catcher since Brad Ausmus hit one on Aug. 5, 2006 at Arizona ... Grossman's first home run came in his 118th career at-bat ... Barnes left the game early due to lower back tightness ... The Orioles had allowed only 18 unearned runs coming in ... Gonzalez had made 33 career starts without losing consecutive decisions. He came in 5-0 with a 3.78 ERA in eight home starts this season ... The Orioles had won Gonzalez's previous 12 home outings ... Orioles first baseman Chris Davis extended his dubious streak of striking out at least once to 24 straight games ... Hoes batted second for Houston and went 0-for-5 ... Lo became the first Taiwanese-born player ever to appear in a game for Houston.
08/01 01:29:32 ET
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