Astros Avoid Sweep, Defeat Twins In The Bottom Of The 9th, 6-5

Bob Levey

The Astros avoided the sweep against the Twins this afternoon as they emerged victorious in a back-and-forth matchup that was decided in the bottom of the ninth when Trevor Crowe singled in Jonathan Villar for the win.

After dropping the first two games of the series with the Twins the Astros offense wasted no time jumping on Twins pitcher Liam Hendriks. The Astros plated three in the bottom half of the first to take an early lead in Wednesday's afternoon match, but the Twins came roaring back in the top of the third to tie the game at three. The Astros offense wasn't quite done however, and added a run in both the fourth and fifth frames to take a 5-3 lead. Those stubborn Twins weren't done either though a pair of runs in the eighth and ninth innings to tie the game at five, but the Astros continued to battle and emerged victorious in the bottom of the ninth in this back-and-forth affair.

With one out in the bottom of the first Jose Altuve got things started with a single. Trevor Crowe then reached on an error to put runners at first and second with one out. Brett Wallace then emerged victorious in a lengthy at-bat that ended in an RBI double for Wally. Chris Carter followed the double up with one of his specialties, base on balls, to load the bases for newly recalled Marc Krauss. Krauss singled to right to score Crowe, and Brandon Barnes followed with a sac fly to score Wallace and give the Astros an early 3-0 lead.

The lead was short-lived however as the Twins answered the Astros first inning three spot with three runs of their own in the top of the third. Chris Colabello got things started with a single off of Jordan Lyles, and Chris Herrmann followed with a walk. With one out in the inning Alex Presley greeted Lyles with his second hit of the afternoon, a homer to right to tie the game at three.

The game did not remain tied for long as the Astros plated one in the bottom of the fourth to take a 4-3 lead. Jose Altuve once again got things started, this time with a two-out double to center. He scored on Crowe's single to right for the go-ahead run.

The Astros added one more run in the bottom of the fourth. This time Chris Carter got things started with a rare infield single. Carter kept the burners on and followed that single up with a stolen base, his second of the season. Barnes later singled in Carter to give the Astros a 5-3 lead.

The Twins chipped away in the top of the eighth. With Erik Bedard on the mound, Pedro Florimon got things started with a leadoff double to left. He came around to score after two back-to-back groundouts brought him around to score. Bedard stayed in to pitch the ninth, and apparently wanted a win and not a save. He immediately gave up a home run to Ryan Doumit to tie the game at five.

Jonathan Villar led off the bottom of the ninth with a single and advanced to second on Altuve's sacrifice bunt. He came around to score the winning run on Trevor Crowe's single to left to help the Astros avoid the sweep and emerge victorious.

Offense

The Astros had several standouts on offense in this one. Jonathan Villar, Jose Altuve, Trevor Crowe, Brett Wallace, and Chris Carter each had two hits on the night. Marc Krauss and Brandon Barnes both added a hit and an RBI (Barnes had 2 RBI's) as well. It's also worth mentioning that Chris Carter got a rare stolen base.

Pitching

Jordan Lyles had a quality start, and performed pretty well minus a rough third inning. His final line of the night was 6.1 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, and 4 SO. He allowed a three-run homer to Alex Presley, which was the only runs he allowed on the afternoon. His ERA now stands at 5.08.

Erik Bedard relieved Lyles in the seventh, and got a big double-play to keep the Twins off the board. He was not as fortunate in the eighth and ninth innings though. His final line was 2.2 IP, 3 H, 2 ER, 2 BB, and 1 SO. He picked up his fourth win of the season after earning his second blown save.

Up Next

The Astros will travel to Oakland tonight and take on the Athletics tomorrow. Brad Peacock will take on rookie Sonny Gray.

Now go root for the Astros minor league teams in the playoffs tonight.

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