The Twins were shut down by the Houston Astros tonight, thanks in large part by a dominant starting performance by Luis Garcia, and a continual pecking-away by the home offense, resulting in a 4-0 final and a dashing of everyone’s sweep dreams.
Michael Pineda turned in a very decent outing, going six strong after laboring through the first couple frames. While only striking out three, he surrendered no free passes and held Houston to two runs.
Unfortunately, his mound opponent was doing him one better. Luis Garcia logged eight strikeouts and allowed just two Twin hits, lowering his season ERA to 3.29 after six strong frames and 85 pitches - Dusty Baker handed the keys to the Astro pen, and a combination of free agency signing Ryne Stanek, recent trade pickup Kendall Graveman, and old friend Ryan Pressly kept the shutout intact the rest of the way.
As is usually the case in any four-hit performance, the Minnesota offense gave us little to write home about tonight. Luis Arraez made an encouraging return to action, knocking a pinch-hit single in the eighth. Brent Rooker had a hit. Jake Cave rocketed that OPS all the way up to .514.
For you John Gant fans out there, the new Twin fanned a pair in the seventh inning. He has 7 strikeouts in 4.2 innings since joining the organization, and just one walk, which have historically been his greatest banes.
And for you John Gant decriers out there, he continues to prove you wrong. You’re only feeding his excellence now.
SP Michael Pineda (6 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K)
RP John Gant (2 IP, H, 2 K)
2B/SS Jorge Polanco (0-for-4, 2 K)
LF Trevor Larnach (0-for-3, 2 K)
RP Caleb Thielbar (1 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, BB, 2 K)