HOUSTON — On Friday, before the Orioles started a three-game series against the Astros, manager Brandon Hyde looked across the field and assessed how his brother-in-law Joe Espada’s team was doing this year.

“This is a playoff team,” Hyde said. “This is a really, really dangerous lineup. They swing the bat extremely well, especially here at home.”

He knew, before playing them, that the Astros were a better team than their 35-40 record. The Astros reaffirmed that point all weekend, winning all three games, including 8-1 on Sunday, to become just the second team since May 15, 2022, to sweep the Orioles.

The other sweep came this season, when the Cardinals took all three games in St. Louis from May 20-22. The Orioles went on to win five straight games and had not lost another series until this weekend. They’ll get to see if they can replicate that starting Monday, when the Guardians come to Baltimore.

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“We just have to flush this one,” Hyde said. “Not a whole lot went right. We have a real good Cleveland team coming into town. We need to let this one go and go after it tomorrow.”

All three Orioles starters in Houston either gave up a season-high number of earned runs or tied it — Grayson Rodriguez on Friday with seven, Corbin Burnes on Saturday with four and Albert Suárez on Sunday with five. Add on Cole Irvin and Cade Povich, who gave up five and one earned runs in their last starts, and the Orioles’ rotation has a 7.52 ERA their last time through the order, dating to Wednesday, which was also the day Kyle Bradish had Tommy John reconstructive surgery.

One bad turn is not cause for an overhaul. However, this has been two rough starts in a row for Suárez. He allowed three earned runs in just 3 2/3 innings against the Yankees. On Sunday, against the Astros, he allowed four before recording two outs in the first inning. Jose Altuve hit the first pitch of the game for a homer, and the Astros had six total hits in the first. Suárez fared better in the second and third but gave up one more in the fifth to round out his day.

“The plan was to attack the zone,” Suárez said. “This team is aggressive; they were swinging. I just stuck with my plan to attack. That first inning, they took advantage.”

Dillon Tate, who gave up three runs as part of Friday’s sixth-inning meltdown, gave up two Sunday.

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There is not much pitching refuge available, but Dean Kremer, who has been out for over a month with a right triceps strain, made his second rehab start Saturday with Triple-A Norfolk. He made it less than an inning, though, throwing 39 pitches as he gave up five runs in two-thirds of an inning. The team has not said if Kremer will need another rehab start.

Albert Suárez has allowed 16 hits and eight runs in 8 2/3 innings over his last two starts. (Jack Gorman/Getty Images)

“We need him back as soon as possible,” Hyde said. “I don’t know what we’re going to do with that but, only 30ish pitches, that’s not ideal.”

The offense, for the second day in a row, didn’t get anything done against the Astros’ starter, despite a lineup shift. Hyde put Adley Rutschman, Ryan Mountcastle and Anthony Santander at the top of the order, but it didn’t make much difference. Baltimore scored just one run against Framber Valdez — a solo home run from Jordan Westburg, who for the second day in a row was responsible for the Orioles’ sole score.

“I think you just tip your cap to them,” Mountcastle said. “They had a great series. It was tough to get stuff going. We are excited to get back home and get back on track.”