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Twins 9, Astros 8: Kepler hits walkoff HR after roller coaster game

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Twins score 8 runs in the fourth. Prevail on Max Kepler home run

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins
Max Kepler hits his second career walk-off home run
Jeffrey Becker-USA TODAY Sports

A cold spring day game at Target Field doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy exciting baseball. It’s even better when your team defeats the World Champs.

The Astros got on the board 1st on a Carlos Correa sac fly to bring in Alex Bregman to give Houston an early 1-0 lead.

Kyle Gibson gave up a couple walks and a single in the 2nd to load the bases, but was able to get out of the jam and keep the Twins in the game.

Gibson kept the Houston bats in check for a couple innings and the Twins came out swinging (and walking) in the 4th, scoring 8 runs off of Lance McCullers. McCullers gave up 3 walks in the inning, leading to a bases clearing triple by Eddie Rosario, and RBI singles from Ehire Adrianza, Brain Dozier, and Logan Morrison. Max Kepler topped off the inning with a nice home run to right field and giving the Twins a nice 8-1 cushion.

As we Twins fans know from last year, these games against the Astros are never dull or boring, and no lead is ever safe. The Astros came back with a four run 5th of their own as Gibson giving up four hits before being pulled for Trevor Hildenberger. Hildenberger got out of the jam but not before giving up a couple hits himself and the Astros made it a 8-5 game.

Hildy stayed on in the 5th and gave up a solo homer to Alex Bregman to make it 8-6.

Houston again threatened in the 8th. Zach Duke loaded the bases after walking two and a hitting a batter, but Addison Reed came in to get Marwin Gonzalez and George Springer out to keep the Twins out in front.

Houston’s bullpen meanwhile kept the Twins off the bases with 1-2-3 innings in the 5th,6th,7th,and 8th.

Fernando Rodney was called on to close the game out, but got into trouble quickly after issuing a couple singles and a walk. With the bases loaded and one out, George Spinger grounded into a potential double-play ball to Brian Dozier. Doziers throw to first was off target and misplayed by Rodney covering 1B, allowing 2 runs to score and tying the game at 8. With a runner in scoring position, Rodney was able to get Bregman to fly out ending the threat.

Just as it looked like the game might be going to extra innings, with 2 outs and a 3-2 count, Max Kepler launched his second home run of the day giving the Twins a dramatic way ahead-kind of ahead-ok it’s tied-oh God we’re gonna lose-yaaaaasss we won - victory over the defending champ Astros!

W: Rodney (1-1) L:Peacock (1-1)

STUDS:

Maximus Kepler: 2 HR, 3 RBI

Eddie Rosario: Triple, 3 RBI

Addison Reed

Duds:

No Duds Twins Win!!

Box Score and Video Highlights

Comment of the Game: Everyone wins! Thanks for joining the early gamethread!

We never doubted for one minute roll call:

Have a great day!