Adam Jones's eighth-inning home run provided the margin of victory, and the Baltimore Orioles (24-29) salvaged the final game of a four-game series with the Houston Astros (34-21) as they won 3-2 Thursday afternoon.
With the scored tied at 2-2 in the top of the eighth, Jones came up with two outs and the bases empty. He launched a 1-0 slider from Houston's Chad Qualls completely over the Crawford boxes and onto the railroad track to give the Orioles a 3-2 lead that they would not relinquish.
Jones's home run (7) was the only one the Orioles hit in the entire four-game series, and it propelled the team to victory after dropping the first three games.
The two teams traded runs through the first six innings. Baltimore scored in the first (Chris Davis RBI single) and sixth (Steve Pearce RBI single). Houston tied it at 1-1 in the bottom of the third (Hank Conger solo home run, 3) and took a 2-1 lead in the fourth (Luis Valbuena sacrifice fly). For the switch-hitting Conger, his home run was only the second of his six-year career while batting right-handed; he has 18 left-handed home runs.
The Astros' best chance came in the bottom of the seventh. They loaded the bases with one out, but George Springer struck out, and Jose Altuve lined hard to Jones in center to end the threat.
Darren O'Day (W: 2-0, 0.89 ERA) picked up the win by finishing the bottom of the seventh and then getting one out in the eighth, thereby benefiting from Jones's blast. He walked two and struck out two. Zach Britton (S: 14) worked 1 2/3 innings to record the five-out save, fanning three along the way. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen pitched 6 1/3 innings, allowing two earned runs on five hits. He walked two, struck out nine, and allowed Conger's home run.
Qualls (L: 1-3, 4.43) took the loss by serving up Jones's home run as the only hit he allowed in one inning; he also struck out one. Astros starter Dallas Keuchel pitched six solid innings, allowing two earned runs on six hits while walking one and fanning seven.
On Friday, the Astros travel north of the border to open a weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays while Baltimore visits the Cleveland Indians.