The Baltimore Orioles went 5-5 on their first home stand after the All-Star break and despite an uneven first half are still in contention for a division crown and a Wild Card playoff berth.
The Birds are (47-51) good for fourth place in the division and only seven games behind the Red Sox (55-45). They are fighting for first and a WC spot with the Yankees (51-46) and the Rays (51-48).
After losing three straight to the World Champ Chicago Cubs they rebounded to take four from the Rangers. They then dropped the first two to the red hot Houston Astros, who have the best record in the American League.
Baltimore ended the home stand on a high note by winning a 9-7 slugfest with the (65-33) Astros.
Baltimore jumped out to a 3-0 lead but Houston answered with a three-run homer from Jose’ Altuve to even the score.
The Orioles responded with two RBIs from Trey Mancini and a sacrifice fly from Chris Davis to take a 6-3 lead after five innings.
In the sixth inning the Astros took a 7-6 lead but the Orioles punched back with a homer from Mark Trumbo to tie the game at 7-7.
The Birds again took the lead on a sacrifice fly by Manny Machado in the eighth and finished off the scoring on a single by All-Star Jonathan Schoop to take a 9-7 lead.
Closer Zach Britton, back from an arm injury, came into to secure his AL record 55th straight save.
Starter Dylan Bundy gave up eight hits and seven runs. He also struck out four and walked three in 5.1 innings of work.
The bullpen came to the rescue shutting out the explosive Astros and reliever Mychal Givens earned the victory and is now (7-0).
Britton then earned his historic save and enabled the Orioles to gain their first victory over Houston this season.
Britton now trails only Eric Gagne who recorded 84 straight saves with the Dodgers from 2002-2004.
Mancini, who is second on the team with a .304 average, went two for three with two RBIs.
Schoop, who leads the team with a .307 batting average, was three for five with one RBI.
Adam Jones, batting lead off again, sparked the offense by going four for five with one RBI and helped the team end the home stand on a high note with an uplifting victory against the best team in the American League this season.