Baltimore Orioles fall, almost get no-hit

Keegan Akin of the Baltimore Orioles was almost the opposing starter in a no-hitter last night. Luckily the O’s held that off, however they couldn’t hold off Houston. Despite his numbers, Akin pitched decent enough. He was also failed by the defense behind him. Akin’s line: 4.0 IP, 6 H, 5 R, 4 BB, 5 K.

The start of the game was delayed an hour by biblical-like storms that passed over Camden Yards, With two runners on, Houston’s McCormick sent an RBI-single in the third inning. However Austin Hays’ attempted to cut the run off at home plate as opposed to playing it back into second base. That allowed two runners to enter into scoring position.

And that did have a negative impact, as Gurriel sent a sac fly-RBI into center field later in the inning. You have to hit the cutoff man, because that sort of thing will cost you runs. While Akin obviously put the guys on base, he was failed by the defense behind him once they were there.

But Alvarez’s subsequent three-run homer broke the game wide open. Even the best defense behind you can’t prevent that. Gurriel would add another sac fly-RBI in the seventh, but by then the story was Houston tossing a no-hitter. It was shaping up to be a staff no-no, as they had used various pitchers. But the Orioles were desperately trying to scrimp a hit together.

Before they could however, Houston would run their lead to 10-0. The competitive portion of the game was long over. The question was could the Birds muster a hit.

And yes, they found a way. Maikel Franco ended the no-hit bid in the last of the eighth with a two-run homer. So the no-hitter and the shutout were lost in one fatal swoop. It doesn’t change the fact that the O’s lost the game, but at least they didn’t suffer the ignobility of being no-hit.

The series continues tonight at Camden Yards. Jorge Lopez gets the start for the Orioles, and he’ll be opposed by Houston’s Zack Greinke. Game time is set for just after 7 PM.

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