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Twins 3, Astros 0: Bats Do Not Overcome One Bad Inning By Kazmir

Team could not get any timely hits in series opener

Hannah Foslien/Getty Images

What Happened

Bad things.  Bad things happened.

The first bad thing was the offense.  Coming off a big series win against the Yankees where the team scored 21 runs, the bats could never get going against Twins pitching.  Minnesota starter Kyle Gibson might as well have been Bob Gibson for all the offense Houston could put together.  Through the first four innings they had three baserunners and only one hit (a Jose Altuve single followed almost immediately by a pickoff to end the inning)

Even with the dearth of runners the Astros had their chances.  In the fourth they had runners on first and second but couldn't score.  In the fifth they had runners on first and third and couldn't score.  In the sixth they had runners and first and second and couldn't score.  In all three cases the runner didn't get into scoring position until there were two outs.

They had their best chance in the ninth inning when a walk and two singles from Marwin Gonzalez and Chris Carter (his was the infield single variety), but Jose Altuve flew out to center to end the game.

The second bad thing was Scott Kazmir losing control in the fourth inning.  If you look at the stat line Kazmir had a good game.  It was a quality start.  He only gave up three hits and struck out six.  The problem was that one inning.  Going into the fourth the only hit he had given up was a home run to Eduardo Nunez and the team was down 1-0.  Kazmir allowed a leadoff double followed by a walk.  He then hit Trevor Plouffe to load the bases.  After a strikeout for out one, he hit Torii Hunter to drive in a run.  Nunez then hit a ball that Altuve made a great play on for an out, but the runner scored to make the deficit 3-0, which was more than enough.

The third bad thing was Jason Castro.  He roped a double to right center, but halfway to second base he came up limping.  Not sure what it was except Castro says his muscle "tightened up"  He made it to second base, but was replaced by Hank Conger, which brings us to the best play of the night.

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Conger fielded the sac bunt attempt in the air, and made a quick throw to first to complete the double play.  I see a Blue Star in his future.

So at the end of the day, the Astros lost the opener of a road series to a team fighting for a playoff spot...just like the last series (remember?)  Tomorrow evening they will face off again at 6 pm as Mike Fiers returns to the mound for the first time since his no-hitter.  He will face Mike Pelfrey and hope for the same success he had last week.

Fun Facts

The Astros streak of eight straight games allowing two or fewer runs came to an end tonight when they gave up three.

The team once again refused to break that 14-game over .500 ceiling for the fourth time this season.

Tweets of the Night

Yes...that would be best case.

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">&quot;Obviously best-case scenario I won&#39;t have to go on the DL,&quot; Castro.</p>&mdash; Jose de Jesus Ortiz (@OrtizKicks) <a href="">August 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

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And this wasn't the wildest swing I saw Gomez take tonight...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Enter the Matrix. &#10;&#10;<a href=""></a> <a href=""></a></p>&mdash; MLB GIFS (@MLBGIFs) <a href="">August 29, 2015</a></blockquote>

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Best news of the whole night...

<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Springer heads to Corpus Christi tomorrow. Will play RF and lead off.</p>&mdash; Julia Morales (@JuliaMoralesRS) <a href="">August 28, 2015</a></blockquote>

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