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Ronel Blanco helps Astros beat Orioles for second straight day

Ronel Blanco posted his third consecutive quality start while Yordan Alvarez and Chas McCormick provided support with titanic home runs as the Houston Astros claimed this three-game series with the visiting Baltimore Orioles with a 5-1 victory on Saturday.

Blanco (8-2) stifled a Baltimore lineup that amassed 28 runs over the previous two games. He allowed one run on four hits and three walks with four strikeouts over seven innings and has surrendered just two earned runs and seven hits over his last three starts and 20 innings combined.

After issuing walks to Gunnar Henderson and Adley Rutschman to open the game, Blanco found a groove. He escaped the top of the first inning unscathed, thanks in part to Henderson running into an out as he attempted to swipe second base. The ensuing five Orioles put the ball in the air, with Blanco recording four flyball outs during that stretch.

Baltimore did grab a 1-0 lead with one out in the second when Jordan Westburg cranked his 12th home run of the season to left-center field. It marked a franchise-record 21st consecutive game that the Orioles clubbed a home run. Baltimore leads the majors with 124 home runs.

After walking Rutschman with one out in the third and allowing a Ryan O’Hearn single that pushed Rutschman to third base, Blanco settled in. He retired 11 of the next 12 batters he faced, with Cedric Mullins reaching on a two-out infield single in the fourth.

Mullins snapped that string of dominance with a one-out triple to straightaway center in the seventh, but Blanco retired Colton Cowser and Ramon Urias, with Astros shortstop Jeremy Pena making a leaping stab of the Cowser line drive.

Orioles right-hander Corbin Burnes (8-3) had his string of 10 consecutive quality starts snapped. He surrendered his 1-0 lead when Yainer Diaz tripled and scored on a Mauricio Dubon sacrifice fly in the second. Alvarez gave Houston a 3-1 lead with his 16th homer an inning later when he drilled a Burnes changeup 420 feet to center, scoring McCormick, who reached with a leadoff single.

McCormick stretched that advantage to 4-1 with the first of his two homers: a 414-foot blast to left with one out in the fifth. McCormick homered off Orioles reliever Bryan Baker leading off the eighth, his third on the season marking his fifth career multi-homer game.

Burnes allowed four runs on five hits with five strikeouts over seven innings.

–Field Level Media

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