Dusty Baker, Astros look for rare sweep over O’s

Dusty Baker, Astros look for rare sweep over O's

Dusty Baker now has the seventh-most managerial wins in baseball. On Thursday afternoon, he’ll look to move one win closer to sixth place when the Houston Astros close a three-game series against the host Baltimore Orioles

The Astros were victorious in the first two games of the series to raise Baker’s victory count to 2,159, one more than Hall of Famer Bucky Harris

“Numbers are cool to achieve. … Whenever I get pretty close, I use it as motivation,” Baker said after Wednesday’s 8-2 win. “But my motivation is: if you perform and do well and your team does well, that will take care of anything you are worried about.

Kyle Tucker homered for the second straight game and Jose Altuve and Alex Bregman each had three hits as Houston improved to 16-8 since the All-Star break. Altuve drove in three runs while Bregman and Tucker each had two RBIs

Altuve enjoys seeing the 74-year-old Baker thriving and hitting milestones

“He deserves everything good that is happening to him,” Altuve said of Baker. “Great guy, great manager. He cares about the team. He’s not only playing to win, he cares about us, how we’re feeling. We’re just happy for him and happy that we can help him to keep moving forward.

Next up for Baker to catch is legendary Sparky Anderson and his 2,194 all-time wins

Altuve moved up one of Houston’s lists as well, as his RBI total increased to 720. He’s now in seventh place, passing Jimmy Wynn (719), the famed “Toy Cannon.

The Astros stand two games behind the Texas Rangers in the American League West, while Baltimore holds a two-game lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East

The Orioles have their own streak to protect. Baltimore has a run of 75 consecutive series of at least two games without being swept — a mark dating back to May 13-15, 2022, when the Detroit Tigers won all three games of a set. It is the fifth-longest such streak in major league history

Austin Hays hit a two-run homer for Baltimore on Wednesday, his first since going deep against the Minnesota Twins on July 9

“His best swing I’ve seen out of him in a while,” Orioles manager Brandon Hyde said

Ryan Mountcastle reached base three times on a single and two walks. He has a season-best 11-game hitting streak and has reached base in 16 consecutive games. Mountcastle reached base in a career-best 17 games in 2021

Baltimore won seven of eight games before losing the first two contests of this series

Right-hander Dean Kremer (10-4, 4.61 ERA) will take the mound for the Orioles in the finale. He’s looking for his first win since July 14

Kremer, 27, has received a no-decision in each of his past four starts. He allowed two runs and two hits in 5 1/3 against the New York Mets on Friday in his last outing

Kremer tossed his only career shutout against the Astros when he allowed four hits on Sept. 23, 2022. Overall, he is 2-0 with a 0.54 ERA in two career outings versus Houston, both coming last season

Altuve is 4-for-7 against Kremer, while Bregman is hitless in seven at-bats

Right-hander Hunter Brown (8-7, 4.07) will be on the mound for Houston and aiming for a third straight victorious start

Brown gave up two runs and struck out four in six innings while beating both the Rays (July 29) and New York Yankees (last Friday) in his last two turns. He gave up four hits to the Rays and five versus the Yankees

Brown, 24, has never started against the Orioles. He pitched one scoreless inning of relief in Baltimore last Sept. 24, giving up three hits and striking out one

Baltimore’s Ramon Urias departed Tuesday’s game with a left heel injury and sat out Wednesday. He could return for the finale

–Field Level Medi

Original source here

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About the Author

Anthony Barnett
Anthony is the author of the Science & Technology section of ANH.