September 29, 2018 / 2:18 AM / 17 days ago

Cole, Astros' bullpen shut down Orioles

EditorsNote: Tweaks in 1st, 3rd graf; breaks up 7th graf

Marwin Gonzalez produced a soft line drive with the bases loaded in the eighth inning to score a run, and the Houston Astros matched their victory total from last season with a 2-1 win over the host Baltimore Orioles on Friday.

The win was No. 101 on the year for the Astros.

Gonzalez’s single to left field off Baltimore left-hander Tanner Scott (3-3) scored Jake Marisnick. Marisnick walked in his lone plate appearance after entering the game as a defensive replacement for the Astros (101-58).

Houston left-hander Tony Sipp (3-1) earned the win with a perfect seventh inning. Closer Roberto Osuna notched his 12th save with the Astros and 21st on the season.

Orioles right-hander David Hess pitched seven innings for the second time in his rookie season.

Astros right fielder Josh Reddick smacked his 17th home run, golfing a 3-2 slider 362 feet to right field with two outs in the sixth inning to pull Houston even at 1-1. Hess returned for the seventh and worked around a pair of walks to post a clean inning and cap his outing having allowed three hits and two walks with four strikeouts. He also worked seven innings at Toronto on Aug. 22.

Astros right-hander Gerrit Cole completed a terrific first season in Houston with another solid start. He limited the Orioles to five hits and one walk with four strikeouts over six innings.

By inducing Orioles right fielder Adam Jones to ground out for the second out in the sixth, Cole reached 200 innings on the season, hitting that mark for the third time in his career and joining rotation mates Justin Verlander (208) and Dallas Keuchel (201 2/3) in the 200-inning club. Verlander and Keuchel both will start on Saturday for the Astros in the doubleheader.

Cole finished his debut season with a 2.88 ERA plus a career-high 276 strikeouts over 200 1/3 innings. He logged 203 innings in his final season with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2017, as well as a career-high 208 innings while notching his previous career best of 202 strikeouts in 2015.

Cole is likely to make his next start in Game 2 of the American League Division Series against the Cleveland Indians on Oct. 6 at Minute Maid Park. That will mark his fourth postseason start.

Jones was responsible for the damage against Cole, recording an RBI double to right with two outs in the first inning that scored Jonathan Villar, who singled to left with one out for the Orioles (46-113).

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