BALTIMORE (AP) — If Wade Miley pitched this well for the Baltimore Orioles, they never would have let him get away.
The resurgent left-hander extended his unbeaten streak to nine games, throwing impressively against his former team to help the surging Astros beat Baltimore 3-2 Friday night.
Jose Altuve hit a pivotal RBI triple in the seventh inning and Alex Bregman keyed a two-run first for the Astros, who have won seven straight and 17 of 20 to open a 10-game lead over Oakland in the AL West.
Miley (11-4) allowed one run, five hits and a pair of walks over 5 2/3 innings. He’s 5-0 in nine starts since June 17.
Miley pitched for Arizona, Boston and Seattle before going 10-20 with Baltimore in 2016-17. The Orioles had no interest in re-signing him, so he spent last year in Milwaukee before joining Houston in free agency.
Because of his background, pitching in Baltimore again wasn’t exactly emotional or nostalgic.
“I’ve gotten used to it. I’ve been with like six different teams, seven different teams,” he said. “I’ve been to some other ballparks where I’ve played. It’s good to come back.”
Though it wasn’t 32-year-old’s best effort of the season, it was good enough against the last-place Orioles.
“It was probably his worst command that he’s had in recent memory, and yet he still pitched very well and got to the sixth inning,” manager A.J. Hinch said.
After Ryan Pressly struck out two in the eighth with the tying run at second base, Roberto Osuna got three outs for his 26th save, retiring Chris Davis on a liner into the shift to end it.
Jace Peterson and Stevie Wilkerson homered for the Orioles, who have endured a rough week at home against two of the AL’s best teams. The AL East-leading Yankees cruised to a three-game sweep before the Astros continued the trend to open this weekend series.
On the positive side, the Orioles ended a major league-record 12-game run in which they allowed multiple homers. It was also the first time since July 23 that Baltimore did not give up a long ball.
“That was nice to see,” manager Brandon Hyde said. “We played a good baseball game. Lost 3-2 to a tough team. We had our opportunities to tie it or take the lead late in the game and just didn’t get the big hit.”
Houston got started early against Dylan Bundy (5-12). Bregman hit a two-out RBI double in the first inning and scored on a single by Yordan Alvarez .
Peterson got Baltimore to 2-1 with a drive in the fifth .
In the seventh, Robinson Chirinos singled and Altuve tripled to right to provide an insurance run that proved significant after Wilkerson connected off Joe Smith in the bottom half.
After combining for 25 runs in their previous two games, against Colorado, the Astros were just as happy to win a close one.
“I think it goes for any of our guys coming in to pitch: We just try to keep the game close,” Miley said. “Our offense is going to do damage when it needs to.”
Davis struck out as a pinch hitter in the seventh and ended up going 0 for 2, two nights after he had to be restrained in the dugout during a flare-up with Hyde. After the team took Thursday off, the two spoke at length Friday afternoon in an effort to put it all behind them.
“I knew right after it happened we were going to be fine, and we are,” Davis said.
Hyde said: “We have a lot of respect for each other. It’s an incident neither one of us feels good about.”
The Orioles honored members of the 1989 team, which rode the slogan “Why Not?” all the way to the final weekend of the season before losing the division title to Toronto. One year earlier, Baltimore started 0-21 and finished 54-107. Cal Ripken Jr. joined the festivities and the current Orioles and Astros got into the spirit of the occasion by wearing throwback uniforms from 30 years ago.
Astros: After activating Pressly (knee) from the injured list prior to Friday’s game, Hinch said the reliever would immediately be available for high-leverage situations . RHP Brad Peacock (shoulder) will be re-evaluated after throwing rehab outings Saturday and Sunday with Triple-A Round Rock.
Astros: Obtained in a trade with Toronto on July 31, Aaron Sanchez (4-14, 5.76 ERA) makes his second start for Houston on Saturday. In his Astros debut on Aug. 3, he combined on a no-hitter against Seattle.
Orioles: Aaron Brooks (2-5, 5.45 ERA) faces Houston for the second time this season. The first time was on April 6, when the right-hander absorbed a 6-0 loss while pitching for Oakland.
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