HOUSTON — The Orioles’ desire to model themselves after the Houston Astros ties strongly to the draft-and-develop model that turned Houston into a championship franchise. Sunday’s series finale showed that the prospects acquired through trades could prove as valuable as the ones Baltimore adds via the draft.
Making his major league debut for Houston, Yordan Alvarez slugged a two-run home run for his first career hit to break a scoreless tie in the Astros’ 4-0 victory Sunday at Minute Maid Park. At 21, Alvarez is only eight months older than Adley Rutschman, who the Orioles selected with the draft’s No. 1 overall pick Monday. Houston acquired Alvarez from the Los Angeles Dodgers for reliever Josh Fields in August 2016.
The Orioles are still waiting to bear fruit on their flurry of trades from last summer, acquisitions performed by their previous front-office regime, but the hope is that such moves at some point produce players like Alvarez.
Alvarez’s home run came two pitches after Yuli Gurriel provided the Astros’ first hit off Dylan Bundy. But even as Bundy continued a stretch of impressive starts, the Orioles bats could muster little against old friend Wade Miley.
In a year and a half in Baltimore during the 2016 and 2017 seasons, Miley had a 5.75 ERA. He lowered it to 3.14 this season with Houston.
The Orioles got Miley out of the game in the seventh, loading the bases with no outs, but Ryan Pressly, another successful Houston trade acquisition, retired the next three Baltimore batters to keep the game scoreless.
Baltimore has dropped the rubber game in its past five series and hasn’t won one since April 22-24.
— Baltimore Sun