It really doesn't matter whether one of baseball's tiniest markets has decided to totally rock the Internet-based All-Star vote or some brilliant miscreants have simply hacked it to monopolize the American League lineup with Kansas City Royals. What matters is that Major League Baseball has left the integrity of the World Series to dangle in the middle of this latest ballot controversy
Center fielder Adam Jones¿ solo homer in the eighth off reliever Chad Qualls gave the Orioles a 3-2 victory over the Houston Astros, ending their five-game losing streak and avoiding a four-game sweep on the first stop of a two-city, seven-game road trip.
HOUSTON ¿ As the Orioles complete their four-game series at Minute Maid Park this afternoon, the they hope to avoid being swept in the four-game series for the first time since Sept. 20-23, 2013, a series in Tampa Bay that all but killed their playoff hopes two years ago.
HOUSTON ¿ The Orioles made a roster move before Wednesday¿s game to replenish their bullpen, recalling left-hander T.J. McFarland from Triple-A Norfolk and optioning right-hander Oliver Drake back to Norfolk.
Ubaldo Jimenez walked off the mound with a one-run lead, but saw usually dependable reliever Brad Brach blow the lead and the Astros rally for a gut-punch four-run seventh inning, handing the Orioles a 5-2 loss.
This Orioles team is immersed in a month-long struggle to score runs. And a day after beating the Astros in Monday's series opener thanks to a pair of two-run homers, the Orioles bats continued to struggle in a 4-1 loss to Houston in front of an announced 21,541 at Camden Yards.
A day after Orioles manager Buck Showalter finished second in the Sporting News' American League Manager of the Year voting, none of the team's players were selected for the publication's AL All-Star team.
TORONTO ¿ Orioles first baseman Chris Davis will hit from the No. 7 spot tonight for the first time since Sept. 23, 2012 as Delmon Young will bat from the cleanup spot for the second time in the past three games.
The Orioles took advantage of Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel¿s control problems, scoring two runs on a pair of bases-loaded walks in the fifth inning on their way to a 4-1 win over the Astros in front of an announced 29,609 at Minute Maid Park.
After Orioles right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez grinded out a quality start, reliever Preston Guilmet allowed a tie-breaking, two-run homer in the seventh inning, sending the Orioles to a 3-1 loss in front of 22,884 at Minute Maid Park.
A crisp, well-played pitchers¿ duel between two first-place teams imploded horribly in the ninth for the Orioles when playing-with-fire closer Tommy Hunter served up two, two-out homers to hand the Tigers a 4-1 victory.
With questions swirling around Baltimore regarding where the Chris Davis of the first-half had gone following the All-Star break, the Orioles slugger made a definitive return Tuesday night with another towering smash into the outfield seats at Camden Yards.
If there's anything fans will remember about the eighth inning of Tuesday night's All-Star Game in Kansas City, it'll probably be seeing flamethrowers Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman light up the radar gun one after the other for the National League.