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Astros 5, Twins 4: The long ball is still Odorizzi’s weakness (simulated)

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The Twins just needed one more of their own

Houston Astros v Washington Nationals Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Today’s lineups:

MIN: Luis Arraez 2B, Jorge Polanco SS, Nelson Cruz DH, Miguel Sano 1B, Eddie Rosario LF, Mitch Garver C, Jake Cave RF, Marwin Gonzalez 3B, Byron Buxton CF, Jake Odorizzi P

HOU: Kyle Tucker RF, Jose Altuve 2B, Alex Bregman 3B, Yordan Alvarez 1B, Carlos Correa SS, Michael Brantley LF, George Springer CF, Josh Reddick DH, Martin Maldonado C, Zack Greinke P


Extreme flyball pitchers tend to have trouble with home runs. Jake Odorizzi is not an exception, and it was his undoing tonight. He gave up three moonshots to the Astros, who scored all-but-one of their runs via the dinger tonight. The Twins got a couple of their own, but fell just short with a very-good pitcher on the mound.

Miguel Sano started the bomba-fest today. Before that happened though, Luis Arraez and Nelson Cruz hit singles—the former being thrown out on the basepaths. Sano then stepped in, and hit a two-run homer.

The only non-homer run of the night for Houston was scored in the first as well. Kyle Tucker lead off with a double and advanced to third on a wild pitch, before we came on a Bregman fly to left field.

The Twins lead would hold until the third inning though, when Martin Maldonado doubled, and Jose Altuve flipped the score with a two-run shot that made it three-two in favor of the Astro-isks. (I had to sneak that joke in somewhere, right?)

In the next two innings, the Twins would tie the back-and-forth contest a couple times, and it was all over by the end of the sixth.

In the fourth, Mitch Garver walked. Jake Cave moved him up with a single, and then a double play by Marwin Gonzalez traded two outs to put a man on third. Byron Buxton’s single tied the game. In the bottom of the inning though, Yordan Alvarez broke the tie, hitting a lead off solo homer. In the fifth, the Twins tied it up again. Nelson Cruz hit a lead off homer of his own.

The final score of the game came in the bottom of the sixth. The last batter Jake Odorizzi faced for the night was Alvarez, again. Leading off the sixth, Alvarez’ homer broke the tie, and effectively ended the scoring. The Tylers—Clippard and Duffey—combined to pitch three scoreless relief innings. For the Astros, Greinke pitched eight innings, and old friend Ryan Pressly got a save.

Notes

  • Astros closer Kirby Yates was injured while pitching.
  • The wind was blowing out to left at a moderate speed. I suspect that contributed to a couple of the big flies leaving the park.

STUDS:

Nelson Cruz: 2-4. HR, RBI
Byron Buxton: 2-4, RBI
Miguel Sano: 1-4, HR, 2 RBI

DUDS:

Jorge Polanco: 0-5, 4 LOB
Luis Arraez: 1-5, 3 LOB
Marwin Gonzalez: 1-4. 3 LOB

Tomorrow: Rubber match in Houston. First pitch 7:10pm

Standings:
MIN 45-36 —
CHW 43-36 1
CLE 43-36 1
DET 38-41 6
KCR 29-52 16