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Twins 3, Astros 1: Hard Luck Loss for Obie

Brett Oberholtzer was great, but Kyle Gibson was better

Bob Levey

A Joe Mauer solo shot was the only blemish on an otherwise sparkling performance by Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer, who scattered 6 hits and walked none while recording 4 strikeouts over seven strong innings. On most days, that's a pretty enough line to secure the W, but the bullpen gave up 2 runs in the top of the eighth, and the Astros were only able to come up with 1 run of their own, a Chris Carter RBI single in the bottom of the eighth, all afternoon. Twins starter, Kyle Gibson, threw 7.2 innings of one run ball, allowing 6 hits and giving up only 2 walks – which, I believe, is about as well as a pitcher I've never heard of can throw.

We were treated to the limits of instant replay in the bottom of the third when Jose Altuve was initially called out on what could have been an infield single. After running through first, Altuve went full Dikembe Mutumbo, fervently wagging his index finger back and forth, indicating his belief in his own safety. Bo Porter came out to challenge and lost, because there wasn't enough evidence to overturn, but I tend to agree with Alan Ashby that Altuve was most likely, "one frame safe." I'm pretty sure if that call had been overturned, Trogdor would have ripped the next pitch into the Crawford Boxes, but alas, instead the inning was over. As we've seen this entire season – and in the NFL for years – instant replay is an imperfect beast. Regardless of the outcome for the Astros, it was however, a helluva throw and play by Minnesota third baseman, Trevor Plouffe.

In the bottom of the eighth, Altuve finally got his infield single, on a similar ball, again hit to third baseman Plouffe. Altuve was safe, but it was close. So close, in fact, that it if first baseman, Joe Mauer, had had his glove extended a bit further out from his body, the ball probably would have beaten Jose to first. Altuve then advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on a Chris Carter single, wrapping up the entire Astros scoring report for the afternoon.

With the loss, the Astros split the season series with Minnesota at 3 games apiece. Tomorrow the 'Stros start a 10 day road trip with a 4 game series in Boston.