Astros have combined no-hitter through 7 against Orioles

Houston Astros starter Jake Odorizzi and reliever Cristian Javier have held Baltimore without a hit through seven innings, and the game has resumed after a 41-minute rain delay in the eighth

BALTIMORE — Houston Astros starter Jake Odorizzi and reliever Cristian Javier held Baltimore without a hit through seven innings Monday night, and play has resumed after a 41-minute rain delay in the top of the eighth.

Houston was looking to throw the seventh no-hitter in the majors this season. That would match 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. That was the only baserunner for the Orioles. Houston leads 9-0.

The teams played for a while in a driving rain at Camden Yards in the top of the eighth, with puddles forming in the infield. Play was finally halted with one out and José Altuve batting. The start of the game was also delayed an hour because of rain.

Javier retired Baltimore in order in the sixth and seventh. Pedro Severino hit a sharp line drive to left field in the sixth, but it was right at Houston’s Yordan Alvarez. Ryan Mountcastle’s seventh-inning liner was hit right at Astros center fielder Myles Straw.

In a season when pitchers have dominated — and on the day umpires began checking them for illegal foreign substances — Odorizzi didn’t seem the least bit bothered. He struck out nine and threw 86 pitches, three shy of his season high.

The 31-year-old Odorizzi missed more than a month with a strained muscle in his right arm. This was his fifth appearance and fourth start since returning.

Javier has started nine games this year. He’s pitched mostly in relief lately, but he certainly has the ability to go several innings.

It would be the first combined no-hitter of the season. The others were thrown by San Diego’s Joe Musgrove (April 9), Carlos Rodón of the Chicago White Sox (April 14), Baltimore’s John Means (May 5), Cincinnati’s Wade Miley (May 7), Detroit’s Spencer Turnbull (May 18) and the New York Yankees’ Corey Kluber (May 19).

In addition, Arizona’s Madison Bumgarner pitched a seven-inning hitless game in a doubleheader on April 25 that is not recognized as a no-hitter by Major League Baseball.

Alvarez hit a three-run homer in Houston’s five-run third inning. The Astros were trying to extend a seven-game winning streak.

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