BALTIMORE — Rio Ruiz hit a two-run homer with two outs in the ninth inning to carry the Baltimore Orioles over Houston 8-7 Sunday, ending the Astros’ eight-game winning streak in stunning fashion.
Houston scored three runs in the top of the ninth to go up 7-5 before the Orioles answered in the bottom half against closer Roberto Osuna (3-3). After Chris Davis hit a sacrifice fly, Chance Sisco was at first base when Ruiz launched a 2-2 pitch over the right-field wall.
Coming off a 23-2 defeat less than 24 hours earlier, Baltimore took the lead in the fifth against 2011 Cy Young winner Justin Verlander, blew the advantage and then mounted an improbable rally to end a five-game skid.
Houston trailed by two runs in the seventh and 5-4 in the ninth before striking against Mychal Givens. George Springer led off with a single and went to second when Jose Altuve beat out a bunt. Michael Brantley followed with a liner that rolled into the right-field corner. Anthony Santander fumbled with the ball and botched the throw, earning an error while Brantley ended his foray around the bases with a head-first slide.
Richard Bleier (3-0) finished the inning, but at that point, it seemed certain that Houston would secure its 19th win in 22 games.
Carlos Correa hit a three-run homer for the Astros, whose ninth-inning surge enabled Verlander to keep his five-game winning streak intact.
Verlander gave up four runs and a season-high nine hits over five rocky innings. The eight-time All-Star struck out 11 to reach double digits in a fifth consecutive outing but also gave up at least one hit every inning.
Jace Peterson doubled in a run in the first inning, Trey Mancini hit an RBI single in the second and Baltimore went up 4-3 in the fifth when Peterson tripled in a run and scored on a foul fly by Hanser Alberto.
Mancini added his team-high 67th RBI with a single off Chris Devenski in the fifth.
The Astros closed to 5-4 in the seventh on a run-scoring groundout by Altuve.
Davis struck out four times to bring his total for the season to 118. With Davis leading the way, the Orioles struck out 16 times.
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock (shoulder) threw 16 pitches for Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday and was slated to throw 15-20 pitches Sunday for the same club. “We didn’t want to extend him too far pitch-wise (Saturday),” manager AJ Hinch said. “Just simulate a back to back, see how he feels.”
Orioles: INF Renato Núñez was rested after fouling a ball off his ankle on Saturday night. X-rays were negative, but the ankle was “just really sore,” manager Brandon Hyde said.
Astros: Zack Greinke makes his second start with Houston in the opener of a three-game series Monday night against the host White Sox.
Orioles: A seven-game road trip begins Monday with a day-night doubleheader against the New York Yankees, who have won 12 straight against Baltimore.