BALTIMORE (AP) — Rookie left-hander Brett Oberholtzer allowed three hits over seven innings to earn his first major league win, Jason Castro hit a grand slam and the Houston Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 11-0 Wednesday night.
Matt Dominguez homered and had a career-high four hits for the Astros, who built a 9-0 lead in the fourth inning and coasted to their most lopsided victory of the season.
Oberholtzer (1-0) was thrust into the starter’s role after Erik Bedard was scratched with a sore shoulder. Making his fourth appearance and first start in the big leagues, Oberholtzer struck out six, walked none and did not let a runner get past first base.
Hours before the first pitch, the Astros traded right-hander Bud Norris to the Orioles for outfielder L.J. Hoes and a minor league prospect. Hoes switched from the Baltimore starting lineup to batting second for Houston and went 0 for 5.
Norris, the focal point of the trade, will start the deciding game of the series Thursday night against his former teammates.
This was the second time in three games that the Orioles were shut out. Before that, they were blanked in three of 105 games.
Baltimore finished with seven hits, two apiece in the eighth and ninth innings.
Miguel Gonzalez (8-5) yielded a career-high nine runs, four earned, in 3 2-3 innings. He has lost two straight decisions for the first time in 34 career starts.
In this one, a matchup between a pennant contender and the team with the worst record in baseball, the lowly Astros played one their best games of the season.
Houston took control with a four-run second. After Castro hit a leadoff double, Brandon Barnes delivered an RBI double and scored on a single by Dominguez before Robbie Grossman hit a shot onto Eutaw Street beyond the right-field scoreboard.
The Astros tacked on five runs in the fourth, courtesy of a botched grounder by shortstop J.J. Hardy. The two-out miscue with the bases loaded allowed a run to score, and Castro followed with his first career grand slam.
Brett Wallace hit an RBI single in the sixth and Dominguez homered off Francisco Rodriguez leading off the seventh.
NOTES: It was the most lopsided defeat of the season for the Orioles. … Houston CF Brandon Barnes left with lower back tightness. … Astros RHP Chia-Jen Lo made his major league debut, allowing two hits in the eighth inning. … The Orioles put RHP Jason Hammel (strained flexor muscle) on the 15-day disabled list and activated Steve Pearce from the DL. … Orioles star Chris Davis extended his club-record run of games with a strikeout to 24. … Astros manager Bo Porter said Bedard was scratched “to give him a couple extra days of rest.”
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