Bud Norris sat in the Baltimore Orioles dugout for the first time on Wednesday evening and must have wondered if he was looking out at reality flipped on its head.
The Houston Astros earned their biggest win of the season by handing the Orioles their biggest loss of the year. Houston smashed 15 hits to chalk up 11 runs in their sensational demolition of a Baltimore club that is looking very shaky at the moment. For a team with an eye on the playoffs, the bats are freezing up at a very troubling time.
The lopsided contest was subsequently dubbed by many as a “game of firsts,” in which a number of new faces were able to stamp their names into the record books.
It is nearly impossible to select a key player or moment during the game, but some are looking to highlight performance of Astros pitcher Brett Oberholtzer. The 24-year-old lefty made his first major league start on a day where all the buzz around Houston is surrounding rookie breakthroughs. Oberholtzer faced off against the 8-5 Miguel Gonzales, who had a night to forget.
Gonzales served up the Astros’ nine runs (four of which were earned) in just 3.2 innings, one of the poorest outings of his career. Oberholtzer, on the other hand, performed like a seasoned pro in his first win, going seven shutout innings with just three hits, no walks and six strikeouts.
Of course, the excitement of the night came from the bats of the rejuvenated Astros. The star among the bunch might have been Robbie Grossman, who hit the first home run of his major league career in a four-run second inning that really got things moving for Houston.
On a trade deadline day that saw the Orioles and Astros exchange players across locker rooms, it was nothing but smiles in the Houston dugout.