BALTIMORE (AP) — Jason Castro homered and drove in four runs to help the Houston Astros notch their second straight blowout victory over the struggling Baltimore Orioles, 12-2 on Saturday night.
Alex Bregman and George Springer also homered for the Astros, who defeated Baltimore 15-8 one night earlier to snap a five-game losing streak.
Bregman got this rout started with a two-run homer in the first inning off Chris Tillman (15-5), who had been given an extended rest because of a sore shoulder. Houston increased its lead to 6-0 in the third and went up 10-1 in the sixth.
Chris Davis homered in a fourth straight game and Steve Pearce also went deep for the Orioles. But Baltimore has dropped eight of 12 overall to fall into the third place in the AL East.
Baltimore pitchers combined to allow a season-high 10 walks. Utility infielder Ryan Flaherty worked the ninth inning, giving up two runs and three hits.
Mike Fiers (9-6) had little trouble in his first career appearance against the Orioles. The right-hander went seven innings, allowing one run and five hits to lower his ERA on the road from 6.27 to 5.71.
Tillman had his start pushed back from Wednesday to Saturday because of shoulder discomfort. It’s uncertain if that played a role in one of his worst outings of the year — two innings, six hits, six runs and five walks.
The Astros scored two runs in six different innings. Every starter scored at least one run.
Astros: 3B Luis Valbuena (right hamstring) was sent back to Houston to have his injury re-evaluated and could be done for the year. “It’s going to threaten his season, just based on where we are,” manager A.J. Hinch said. … OF Jake Marisnick missed a second straight game with a sore groin. “I am not going to put him out there if he is not 100 percent,” Hinch said.
Orioles: Orioles C Matt Wieters was placed on the paternity leave list and will likely be out through at least Sunday.
Astros: Dallas Keuchel (7-12, 4.76 ERA) starts Sunday in the series finale. In his two outings this month, the lefty blanked Texas and gave up six runs in five innings to St. Louis.
Orioles: Yovani Gallardo (4-4, 5.18) has won only one of his last nine starts. He’s 1-3 since June 29.