Cedric Mullins socked a go-ahead, three-run home run with one out in the top of the ninth inning as the Baltimore Orioles rallied for a stunning 8-7 victory over the host Houston Astros on Monday night.
Mullins drove a 2-1 slider from Astros closer Ryan Pressly (3-5) 425 feet out to right-center field, plating Ryan O’Hearn and Austin Hays, who started the rally with back-to-back singles.
In the bottom of the inning, Yennier Cano struck out Chas McCormick on three pitches with the tying run on third for his seventh save of the season.
The Astros (84-67) maintained their 1 1/2-game lead over the Rangers in the American League West, as Texas lost 4-2 to the Boston Red Sox earlier Monday. Baltimore (94-56) extended its lead in the AL East to 2 1/2 games over the idle Tampa Bay Rays.
O’Hearn went 5-for-5 with two RBIs and a run for the Orioles, who have won three games in a row.
Trailing 3-1 in the sixth, Houston rallied against Orioles reliever Shintaro Fujinami, with RBI singles from McCormick and Jeremy Pena preceding Jose Altuve’s two-run double that gave the Astros a 5-3 lead.
But Baltimore responded behind Adley Rutschman and Mullins, who each had an RBI double in the top of the seventh to tie things at 5-5.
Jose Abreu put Houston back in front with his 16th home run of the season, a solo shot, in the home half of the seventh. Martin Maldonado added his 14th homer an inning later against Mike Baumann (10-1) only for the Orioles to erase another two-run deficit.
Baltimore hit Astros starter Justin Verlander hard, but it was a bloop single in the fifth that did the most damage.
Jorge Mateo and Gunnar Henderson stroked back-to-back one-out singles and both moved up a base on a groundout to the right side, setting the table for O’Hearn, whose flare into shallow center scored both runners and spotted Baltimore a 3-1 lead.
Verlander allowed three runs on eight hits in six innings, while Orioles starter John Means gave up one run on four hits in five innings.
–Field Level Media
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