The Houston Astros lineup was hitting the ball all over the park on Monday, and they were getting decent pitching as well. But that only lasted three innings.
The Astros had a 5-1 lead after two innings and a 6-2 lead after three innings, but then allowed the visiting Minnesota side to score eight unanswered runs - capped off by a tie-breaking grand slam in the ninth.
The Astros used five hits in the first inning (a double and four singles) to jump out to a 3-0 lead. Jason Castro, Chris Carter and Trevor Crowe all picked up RBIs for Houston in the opening frame.
Astros' starter Paul Clemens surrendered a solo home run in the top of the second, but his offense backed him up with two more runs. Again it was Castro to knock in the first run on an RBI single down the left field line, but he jogged gingerly to first. It is being reported as a right knee sprain for Castro, which is scary for him as he had surgery for a torn ACL in that same knee in 2011.
It appears Castro may have actually hurt the knee earlier in the at-bat with this swing:
And then was able to finish the at-bat with his run-scoring knock, but didn't move well down the base line and was replaced by Cody Clark.
Chris Carter followed with his second RBI hit of the afternoon, a double, to make it 5-1.
The Astros made it 6-2 in the third with an RBI single by Jose Altuve, who put together another great day in the two-hole, going 4-for-5.
The Twins scored again in the fourth on a solo home run and after a couple more singles, Clemens was done.
Reliever Lucas Harrell allowed only one more run in the fourth, but then allowed a lead off solo blast to Brian Dozier in the fifth, making it 6-5, Houston.
The Astros had ten hits going into the bottom of the fifth, but from there on only managed three more. Brandon Barnes singled in the fifth, but was caught stealing for the eighth time this season. Altuve singled in the sixth and was stranded, then tried to turn a single into a double in the ninth, only to be thrown out.
Jonathan Villar also reached in the eighth via a walk, but was also cut down trying to steal.
The Twins' Pedro Florimon singled in the eighth off Kevin Chapman to score Doug Bernier, who had walked to start the inning against Josh Fields (talk about four no-name guys in one sentence).
But the big blow came in the ninth as Chia-Jen Lo allowed a single, and two walks to load the bases. He also struck out two batters in the bases loading process and had a chance to get out of the jam, but served up a first pitch fastball to Chris Colabello who launched a grand slam to right-center field.
Not a very good pitching performance from the starters or relievers, and the Astros drop their 92nd of the year.
But, hey! It's Jarred Cosart Day tomorrow as he will try to even up this three-game series.
More from Crawfish Boxes:
- MLB Scores: Twins 10, Astros 6
- Astros Injury: Catcher Jason Castro Leaves Game With Sprained Right Knee
- Monday's Three Astros Things
- Astros MiLB Recap: September 1, 2013
- MLB Scores: Astros 2, Mariners 0