Three takeaways from a disappointing Astros-Orioles series

The Orioles dropped two of three games against the Astros at home
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles
Houston Astros v Baltimore Orioles / Scott Taetsch/GettyImages

With a busy day off (for the wrong reasons), the Orioles welcomed the Houston Astros for a crucial series down the stretch. Let's recap the series loss with three takeaways.

Orioles lose three game series to Houston Astros at home

A mix of feelings: HOU 7-6 BAL

Ryan Mountcastle hit the longest Home Run by an Oriole at OPACY in the Statcast era (472 feet - two shy for the record) and righty Adley Rutschman went deep against Framber Valdez. A 5-0 lead through two innings. Grayson looked great in another good outing (6.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 4 K), the crowd supported Kevin Brown loudly and clearly, and the bullpen came to save the day until the ninth inning.

With a 6-3 lead, Felix Bautista came to the mound to finish the job. He walked Jon Singleton to start, a player with .350 OPS. Jose Altuve reach with a bloop single, Alex Bregman was a strikeout victim and Yordan Alvarez could've been the second out if Jorge Mateo made the catch in center fielder (he robbed a Home Run moments before).

With the bases loaded, Kyle Tucker smashed a 100-mph heater to the right-center field stands for a go-ahead grand slam. The first run allowed by Bautista since June. A heartbreaking loss.

The Nemesis and acquisitions: HOU 8-2 BAL

Jack Flaherty made his Camden Yards debut on the mound. Unfortunately, Kyle Tucker spoiled it with a two-run bomb in the first. Even in a 3-0 hole, 'Flash' escaped from the jam and delivered another good outing (5.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 8 K). Austin Hays gave the Orioles some life with another two-run bomb. That was his first Home Run since July 9.

Behind 3-2, Shintaro Fujinami came to the mound. The Japanese reliever was saved by Hays, robbing Chas McCormick of a home run. With two outs, the disaster started: three straight walks forcing him out of the game. Mike Baumann came on and finished the eighth.

A four-run eighth inning sealed the game. At same time, Michael Lorenzen, who some insiders linked to the Orioles as a potential trade deadline acquisition, threw a no-hitter in his second game for Philadelphia.

The streak still alive: HOU 4-5 BAL

Another Adley leadoff bomb to ignite Orioles offense in the matinee game. Against Hunter Brown, Baltimore jumped ahead with another great game by a surging James McCann (2-3, 2B, RBI, R). The two catchers combined for four hits (two XBH), three RBI and two runs.

Dean Kremer threw seven innings, thankfully shorter innings (7.0 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, 5 K), but he allowed Home Runs to both Yainer Diaz and Jose Altuve (4-5, HR, 2 2B, RBI, 2 R).

Cionel Perez and Yennier Cano almost coughed up another game but The Mountain was waiting for his redemption. The All-Star closer worked more than usual, again. When he lost confidence with his splitter, things were not going so well. He allowed a run that Ramon Urias almost saved with a leaping attempt at the ball. But in the end, he pulled through. Save #31 for Felix. The streak of series played without getting swept increases to 76.