MIN 4, HOU 10: Springer and Bregman and Altuve... Oh My!
Image courtesy of Troy Taormina, USA TodayBox Score
SP: Michael Pineda: 5 1/3 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 65.5% strikes
Home Runs: Eddie Rosario (10)
Multi-Hit Games: Jonathan Schoop (2-4)
WPA of +0.1: Eddie Rosario (0.189), Max Kepler (0.147)
WPA of -0.1: Michael Pineda (-0.309), Trevor Hildenberger (-0.213), Jorge Polanco (-0.117)
(chart via FanGraphs)
For the second straight night, the Minnesota Twins jumped out to a fast start in Houston. Leadoff hitter Mitch Garver got on with an infield single. One out later, Nelson Cruz reached. Eddie Rosario went opposite field to give the Twins a 3-0 lead just four batters into the game.
He became the fastest player in Twins history to reach double digits in homers, in just his 21st game of the year.
At that point, Wade Miley took over. Now, he barely reached 90 mph in the game, but he worked the bottom of the strike zone very well and retired the next 15 batters before leaving the game after the sixth inning.
George Springer went to work for the Astros with his bat. In the third inning, he put Houston on the board with an RBI single. Then he hit an RBI double in the fifth inning. Later in the inning, Alex Bregman took a 3-0 fastball and drilled a ball to left field that scored two runs and put the Astros ahead 4-3. Fortunately, Rosario threw Bregman out at second base.
The Twins were probably glad to see Miley’s night come to an end. With two outs in the top of the seventh, 17 straight Twins batters had been retired, the Twins had three straight hits, the third an RBI single by Max Kepler. It marked the 200th RBI of Kepler’s young career.
But Trevor Hildenberger had to pitch with the bases loaded again, this time his own doing. He got Alex Bregman to line out to right field, but the go-ahead run scored. Adalberto Mejia was brought in to face lefty Michael Brantley, and the veteran with one of the sweetest swings in the game hit an RBI single to left to give the Astros a two-run lead after seven innings.
Ryan Pressly shut the Twins down in the eighth inning. However, the bottom of the eighth got off to a bad start and Tyler Duffey was unable to stop the bleeding. The inning started with an error by Jorge Polanco and it just went downhill from there. Duffey fielded a bunt and threw errantly toward second, allowing a runner to score. And later Jose Altuve crushed a three-run homer that pushed the score to 10-4. All four runs were unearned.
Former Twins All Star reliever Glen Perkins chimed in on twitter with his thoughts on the Duffey performance tonight.
Michael Pineda worked well through the game’s first four innings, but you just can’t hold off the Astros lineup for very long. George Springer, Alex Bregman and Jose Altuve combined for eight of the Astros ten RBI.
Following the game, the Twins announced that Kohl Stewart will be called up to make the start on Wednesday night against Justin Verlander. The corresponding roster move will be made on Wednesday.
The clubhouse remained closed to media for quite some time after the game (obviously due to a transaction happening), so FSN did not air the Rocco Baldelli post-game press conference. Here it is:
Here’s a quick look at the number of pitches thrown by the bullpen over the past five days:
Next Three Games
Wednesday - 7:10 @ Houston - Kohl Stewart (1st start of season) vs Justin Verlander (3-0, 3.00 ERA)
Thursday - Twins Day Off
Friday - 7:10 Home vs Baltimore - Jose Berrios (3-1, 2.97 ERA) vs Dan Straily (1-1, 8.59 ERA)
Saturday - 1:10 Home vs Baltimore - Martin Perez (2-0, 5.31 ERA) vs Alex Cobb (0-1, 11.88 ERA)
MIN 9, HOU 5: Bats Thrive, Bullpen Survives
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