Musgrove, 'pen silence Birds
Marisnick, Beltran homer in 2-0 win

Musgrove steps up in shutout win
(c) Associated Press

Astros starter Joe Musgrove trotted out to the mound at Minute Maid Park Friday night with a 5.63 ERA in nine starts this season. In danger of losing his spot in the rotation, Musgrove turned in the best start of his young career, hurling seven shutout innings in a 2-0 Astros win over Baltimore.

Musgrove bounced back from a rough outing against the Indians in which he gave up seven runs in only three innings. This time around Joe struck out six and didn't walk a batter, allowing only four hits and earning his fourth win of the year.

The Astros continued to employ the longball on offense, using a pair of solo shots to account for all the scoring in a game that took only two hours and thirty-one minutes to complete.

In the third inning Jake Marisnick connected for the second straight night, launching a Kevin Gausman offering 421-feet to left-center for his sixth home run of the season. Carlos Beltran took Gausman deep in the sixth and that was all of the offense Musgrove and the Astros bullpen would need.

The Orioles rallied in the eighth, loading the bases against Chris Devenski with no outs. But the Astros setup man used a strikeout, a popup, and a flyout to the warning track off the bat of Manny Machado to get out of the jam unscathed.

A.J. Hinch handed the ball to Ken Giles in the ninth and the hard-throwing right-hander turned in a 1-2-3 frame to take over the league lead in saves, with 14.

The Astros will face lefty Wade Miley Saturday evening at 6:15 in the middle game of a 3-game series. Dallas Keuchel is scheduled to return from the disabled list to make the start for the Astros. Catcher Brian McCann is also slated to come off the D.L. meaning Jordan Jankowski and Juan Centeno will be sent back to AAA Fresno.

- Greg Thurston