- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 3, 2018

HOUSTON (AP) - A day ago Josh Reddick was pleading for a hit on Twitter after typing “I will get a hit” 13 times in one post worked for St. Louis outfielder Dexter Fowler.

Once Reddick got that first hit out of the way, he busted out in a big way Tuesday night.

Reddick hit a two-run homer in the sixth inning and a grand slam in Houston’s five-run seventh, leading the Astros to a 10-6 win over the Baltimore Orioles.

“He’d taken some pretty good swings and hadn’t got (any) hits until he sent out the famous tweet,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s going to get a hit. He’s going to get a hit. He’s going to get a hit, so that’s what I kept saying on the bench and he came through with a really big swing in a big moment.”

The 31-year-old Reddick, who singled in the seventh inning of Monday night’s 6-1 win for his first hit of the year, tied a career high with six RBIs. It was his first multihomer game since 2014 and No. 7 overall.

He laughed when the tweet was brought up and smiled about how his fortunes had changed at the plate in such a short time.

“I guess when I go 0 for 8 again I’ll do a tweet again,” he said.

Reddick and the Astros got their sparkling World Series rings in a pregame ceremony with baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred in town for the occasion, and then slugged their way to their fourth straight win in a 5-1 start.

George Springer put Houston ahead to stay with a one-out RBI double in the seventh. Walks to Alex Bregman and Carlos Correa prompted Orioles manager Buck Showalter to replace Pedro Araujo (0-1) with Nestor Cortes.

Reddick then hit a drive to the bullpen in right-center to make it 10-5.

“We just couldn’t get that (seventh) inning pitched,” Showalter said. “That would have set up the rest of the game for us if we could have gotten that inning pitched.”

Correa finished with two hits and three RBIs after providing an early highlight with an inside-the-park homer in the first.

Adam Jones had three hits and three RBIs for the Orioles, including a two-run homer in the sixth inning, and Jonathan Schoop doubled and hit a solo homer.

Houston ace Justin Verlander struck out nine in 5 2/3 innings, but was charged with four runs and six hits. Hector Rondon (1-0) got the win despite yielding a run in the seventh.

Baltimore starter Mike Wright gave up four hits and three runs in five innings.

The Orioles were down by one in the sixth when Schoop reached on an error by third baseman Bregman and Jones connected against Verlander to make it 4-3.

But Reddick responded in the bottom half, driving a pitch from Mychal Givens into the first row in right field. Jones then tied it at 5 with a two-out RBI single in the seventh.

There was one on with two outs in first when Correa hit a ball into deep left-center field that Trey Mancini just missed. The ball bounced off the wall and rolled toward the bullpen in right-center field.

Jones sprinted to track it down, but Correa, who left Monday’s game with a bruised big toe, had scored easily by the time he got the throw in.


Orioles: RHP Alex Cobb, who didn’t sign with Baltimore until March 21, is scheduled to throw five innings in a simulated game in Florida on Wednesday and could join the rotation as early as next week.

Astros: Hinch said he planned to give Correa Wednesday off so he could have two days to rest his injured toe with Houston’s scheduled day off on Thursday.


Houston’s players, coaches and staff have plenty of company when it comes to World Series rings. The Astros are handing out 1,332 rings to various front-office members, medical staff, Hall of Famers, broadcasters and even seasonal associates. There are four tiers of rings, but the team wouldn’t say how much any of the versions cost.

The players’ rings are encrusted with 112 diamonds and also include blue and orange sapphires. Each ring has the phrase “Houston Strong,” which the team adopted in the wake of Hurricane Harvey, and the inside of the rings display the results of each series in Houston’s playoff run.

Some of the players said they might be scared to wear their rings. Reddick was not among them.

“They are magnificent,” he said. “They are beautiful. I think I might sleep in mine tonight.”


Orioles: Dylan Bundy (0-0, 0.00 ERA) will make his second start in the series finale on Wednesday. Bundy scattered five hits across seven innings in Baltimore’s opener on Thursday but did not factor into the decision on a day the Orioles won 3-2 on a game-ending homer by Jones.

Astros: Dallas Keuchel (0-1, 4.50 ERA) is looking to bounce back after allowing seven hits and three runs in six innings of a 5-1 loss to the Rangers in his season debut.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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