Franco’s HR in 8th Breaks up Houston’s Bid for No-Hitter

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Maikel Franco hit a two-run homer with one out in the eighth inning, denying the Houston Astros in their attempt to throw a combined no-hitter Monday night at Baltimore. Astros starter Jake Odorizzi and reliever Cristian Javier held the Orioles without a hit through seven innings. Then there was a 41-minute rain delay in the top of the eighth.

Brandon Bielak came on to pitch the bottom of the eighth for Houston, and after he hit Austin Hays with a pitch with one out — just the second baserunner for Baltimore — Franco sent a drive to deep center field. The Astros lead 10-2. Earlier in Franco’s at-bat, Bielak appeared to have thrown strike three, but he didn’t get the call from plate umpire Angel Hernandez.

Houston was looking to pitch the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season. That would have matched 1990, 1991, 2012 and 2015 for the most since 1900, one shy of the record eight in 1884 — the first season overhand pitching was allowed. Odorizzi pitched the first five innings before being replaced by Javier. Odorizzi retired his first 13 batters, then walked DJ Stewart on a full count in the fifth.

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