Melvin Mora stood at the plate in the eighth inning with two runners on, two outs and the Astros leading, 5-4. He was facing Astros closer Jose Valverde, who was pumping 97 mph fastballs at the Orioles. Mora kept fouling them off, and the count remained full. With the remains of an announced 21,535 raising the noise level at Camden Yards, Mora drove another fastball, the ninth pitch of the at-bat, into the right-center-field gap to score Adam Jones and Brian Roberts for a 6-5 lead.
Orioles left-hander Garrett Olson gave up a run, two hits and two wild pitches before he returned to the dugout after the first inning. He came out a different pitcher. Olson retired 12 in a row before Ty Wigginton singled with two outs in the fifth inning. Humberto Quintero and Michael Bourn also singled, and Kazuo Matsui's two-run double gave Houston a 4-3 lead.
Deep in the seats
Aubrey Huff briefly pulled into a four-way tie for first place in the Orioles' home run derby, and he gave them a 2-1 lead in the third inning with a two-run homer to left-center field. Huff, Nick Markakis, Kevin Millar and Luke Scott each had 11 homers at the time, but Markakis hit his 12th of the season in the seventh, going to the opposite field against former Oriole Tim Byrdak and reducing the Astros' lead to 5-4.
The Orioles continue their interleague series against the Astros tonight at 7:05. Jeremy Guthrie (3-7, 3.71 ERA) has one victory since May 13,but he's allowed two earned runs or fewer in four of his six starts since that win. The Astros start right-hander Brian Moehler (3-3, 4.76 ERA), who is 1-1 with a 4.73 ERA in six career starts against the Orioles.