HOUSTON (AP) — Jake Marisnick and Carlos Beltran each homered to back a solid start by Joe Musgrove, and the Houston Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 2-0 on Friday night.
Marisnick went deep with one out in the third inning, and Beltran’s shot to the second deck in right field came with two outs in the sixth.
Musgrove (4-4) allowed four hits in seven innings before the bullpen closed it out to send the Orioles to their season-high fifth straight loss.
Musgrove bounced back after allowing eight hits and a season-high seven runs in a season-low three-plus innings in an 8-6 loss to Cleveland in his last start.
The Orioles weren’t able to string any hits together until the eighth inning when a double by Hyun Soo Kim and singles by Jonathan Schoop and J.J. Hardy loaded the bases with no outs. But Chris Devenski struck out Seth Smith before retiring Adam Jones and Manny Machado on fly balls to escape the jam.
Ken Giles struck out one in a perfect ninth for his 14th save.
Kevin Gausman (2-4) yielded eight hits and two runs in 6 2/3 innings for the Orioles, who have dropped seven of their last nine.
Machado had two hits, but the other three batters at the top of Baltimore’s order went 0 for 12 with seven strikeouts, including four by Smith.
Marisnick homered in his second straight at-bat after hitting the go-ahead home run in the eighth inning of a 7-6 win over the Tigers on Thursday night. George Springer followed with a single and Josh Reddick reached on an error by Schoop. But the Astros were unable to add on after Gausman retired the next two batters to end the inning.
Marisnick has six home runs this season after hitting just five last year.
JIMENEZ TO BULLPEN
The Orioles have moved struggling right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez to the bullpen and will move reliever Alec Asher into the rotation to start on Sunday. Jimenez is 1-2 with a 7.17 ERA in nine appearances with eight starts this season. Asher has started two games this season but has worked mostly as a reliever and is 1-2 with a 2.17 ERA.
“I think he deserves the opportunity … the challenge is that it takes a guy that’s been pitching well out of our ‘pen,” manager Buck Showalter said. “But we’ve been challenged to try and figure out a way to get a little deeper in some of the games, and it doesn’t really matter who we’ve got in the bullpen if we don’t.”
Orioles: Wade Miley (1-2 2.59 ERA) is scheduled to start for Baltimore on Saturday. He allowed six hits and three runs in seven innings of a 3-1 loss to Toronto in his last start and hasn’t gotten a win since April 14.
Astros: Ace Dallas Keuchel is expected to come off the disabled list to start on Saturday after missing just one start because of a pinched nerve in his neck. The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner has brushed off a tough 2016 season by opening this year 7-0 with a 1.84 ERA. The left-hander has the second-lowest ERA in the majors and his wins are tied for most in the big leagues.
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