HOUSTON (AP) — Evan Gattis hit a three-run homer and Luis Valbuena added a go-ahead solo shot in a five-run third inning to help the Houston Astros to a 6-4 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.
The Astros, who lead the American League with a 33-20 record, were in a big hole early after a four-run second inning by the Orioles, but bounced back an inning later for their major league-leading 17th comeback victory this year.
Houston trailed by 3 when the homer by Gattis made it 4-all and the Astros went back to back when Valbuena homered to right field to put Houston on top. The Astros added an insurance run in the eighth inning.
Houston starter Collin McHugh (6-2) settled down after giving up four runs in the second, and the last out of that inning was the first of eight straight and 15 of 16 he retired before being replaced by Pat Neshek for the eighth inning.
Baltimore rookie Mike Wright (2-1) yielded eight hits and five runs in five innings after allowing just three runs combined in his first three starts.
Neshek pitched a perfect eighth before Delmon Young gave Baltimore its first hit since the second on a single off Luke Gregerson with one out in the ninth. But he struck out the next two batters for his 15th save.
George Springer, Jose Altuve and Preston Tucker hit consecutive singles with one out in the third inning to cut the lead to 4-1 before the homer by Gattis.
Chris Davis got things going by drawing a leadoff walk in the second inning, but he was out at second on a force play on a ball hit by Young. Jimmy Paredes singled before a single by Steve Pearce scored Young to make it 1-0.
Ryan Flaherty followed with his second triple in two games to send two more home. Manny Machado’s two-out RBI single pushed the lead to 4-0. McHugh couldn’t handle a soft dribbler by Travis Snider for a single before he finally escaped the inning when he struck out Jones, who was the ninth batter of the frame.
The only baserunner McHugh allowed after the second inning came on a walk by Snider with one out in the fifth, but Jones grounded into a double play to end the inning.
The Astros loaded the bases with one out in the second after singles by Gattis and Chris Carter and walk by Hank Conger. Wright escaped the jam when Gonzalez grounded into a double play. The hit by Carter extended his hitting streak to a season-high 10 games.
Jones was back in center field after sitting out two games because of a sprained left ankle and playing designated hitter on Monday in the opener of the series.
A fan sitting in the front row down the right field line got hit in the face with a foul ball on Tuesday night. The man was OK, but most of the right side of his face was swollen, red and beginning to bruise when he smiled as he posed for a picture with the ball.
Orioles: SS J.J. Hardy missed the second straight game with soreness on his left side. He is day to day. … Baltimore C Matt Wieters was scheduled to catch Bud Norris (bronchitis) at Triple-A Norfolk on Tuesday in a rehabilitation game for both players, but the game was rained out. Manager Buck Showalter said the pair will play in the first game of a double-header for the team on Wednesday. Wieters, who has been out since Tommy John surgery last June, is eligible to come off the 60-day disabled list on Thursday.
Astros: C Jason Castro was out of the lineup after being plunked on the side of his right knee on Monday night. Manager A.J. Hinch said he was sore but OK and he wasn’t sure if he’d start on Wednesday.
Houston rookie Lance McCullers will make his fourth major league start in the third game of this four-game series, against Miguel Gonzalez. McCullers has struck out at least five batters in each of his first three starts to become the first Astros rookie to do so since J.R. Richard in 1971.
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