The Minnesota Twins came into tonight looking to prove that they mean business in this year’s campaign by taking a series from the strong Houston Astros. The Astros, who had lost three in a row before tonight, were looking to get back on track and make tomorrow night’s game the rubber match of the series.
The Twins decided to start things off early in the game. Astros starter Wade Miley served up a single to lead-off hitter Mitch Garver, who moved to second after Nelson Cruz drew a five-pitch walk courtesy of home plate umpire Angel Hernandez’s strike zone. Both would prove costly as none other than Eddie Rosario stepped up to the plate and launched a bomb to left field and put the Twins up early with a score of 3-0.
Michael Pineda took the mound for the Twins tonight and the Astros started their scoring in the third inning. Tyler White drew a walk on four pitches off of Pineda, followed by a Max Stassi single. George Springer (no known relation to Jerry Springer) then shot a grounder up the middle to score White from second base. Pineda was able to get out of the third with minimal damage and still with the lead at 3-1.
The Astros didn’t have enough of Pineda, though, and did some damage in the bottom of the fifth. Josh Reddick and White got on base with a double and a single, respectively. After a fly-out by Stassi, Springer slapped a double to left field, scoring Reddick. A whiff by Jose Altuve was followed with a liner to left field by Alex Bregman on a 3-0 pitch, scoring both White and Springer. Bregman was hungry for more than a single and was thrown out at second base for the last out of the inning. However, the damage was done so far and the Astros now had the lead with a score of 4-3.
The light knock-out punch from the Astros came in the sixth inning with one out when Carlos Correa doubled off of Pineda, sending him to the showers with a pitching line of 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K on 86 pitches. Curveball extraordinaire Ryne Harper came in and took care of business on six pitches.
Hector Rondon took over for Miley beginning with the seventh and got two outs before the Twins started to attack. A Jonathan Schoop double was complemented with an RBI single from Max Kepler. A Byron Buxton single moved Kepler to third base and after a steal of second by Buxton, Garver flew out to end the threat, but the Twins now were even with the Astros at four runs apiece.
Houston decided that was not fair, and decided to beat up on Trevor Hildenberger like a bunch of high-schoolers stealing a middle-schooler’s lunch money. A single by White (replaced by pinch-runner Jake Marisnick) was followed by a Stassi ground-out. Hildenberger then issued back-to-back walks on 10 pitches to Springer and Altuve, loading the bases. A sacrifice fly hit by Bregman scored Marsinick and Hildenberger got the hook.
Rocco Baldelli figured, “Ah yeah, Adalberto Mejia is a Twins reliever,” and went with the lefty-lefty match against Michael Brantley, who promptly took an 0-1 pitch to left field for an RBI single, giving Houston a 6-4 lead. Baldelli then figured, “Ah yeah, that was the opposite effect that I wanted,” and brought in Tyler Duffey to put out the flames. However, it was Correa who came to the rescue for the Twins:
DUFFEY: Here is some gasoline for this fire here. /throws wild pitch
GARVER: Ouch. That’s hot.
CORREA: Please recall that gasoline actually further ignites fire. /grabs ball
Correa was called out on batter’s interference just for putting out the fire that the Twins bullpen decided to start, ending the inning. Thanks, Carlos Correa!
Duffey came out to continue pitching in the eight and was still in “gas on fire” mode with no help from the Twins defense. Yuli Gurriel got on base thanks to a fielding error from Jorge Polanco, which was followed up with a single from Reddick and a “sacrifice bunt” by Marisnick, who reached on a throwing error by Duffey, resulting in Gurriel coming in to score, moving the Astros ahead 7-4. A passed ball moved up the runners to scoring positions. After back-to-back strikeouts, Duffey then served up a meatball to Altuve, who hit it to the train tracks in left field and put the final nail in the coffin of the Twins.
Astros 10, Twins 4
W: Rondon (2-0)
L: Hildenberger (2-1)
THE SECTION ABOUT EDDIE ROSARIO NOTES:
- Eddie Rosario became the quickest Twins player to hit 10 home runs to start the season and the first one to reach the 10-homer mark before May 1.
- Eddie Rosario notched his fourth outfield assist of the year, good for third in the majors.
- The Twins have not announced their starter for tomorrow night as the Saturday double-header messed around with the pitching rotation. Justin Verlander will go for the Astros.
- Eddie Rosario: 1-4, HR, 3 RBI, R, K, outfield assist
- Jonathan Scoop: 2-4, R, K
- Ryne Harper: 0.2 IP
- Michael Pineda: 5.1 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K
- The bullpen after Ryne Harper (Hildenberger, Mejia, Duffey): 2 IP, 4 H, 6 R (2 ER), 3 BB, 2 K, error
A quiet night in the game thread, but thanks to everyone who joined us for the game!