For the first time since July 24, the Astros scored more than six runs in a game, and unsurprisingly it helped them win a ball game.
Houston, which entered the game hitting .202/.247/.277 as a team in eight August games, was led by a big performance from the first four hitters in the order.
George Springer, Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa combined to go 9-for-16 while the other five hitters in the lineup went 3-for-17.
Correa got things started with a two-run bomb to left in the first inning that probably should've been a three-run dinger as Bregman, who doubled earlier in the inning, was thrown out at home on a single by Altuve. Bregman hesitated to make sure he avoided Altuve's ground ball to center field, yet was surprisingly sent home by Gary Pettis, only to be thrown out.
That was just the start of Altuve's night as he finished 4-for-4 to up his average to .361 (!!!) this season.
Houston starter Mike Fiers again was victimized by the long ball as he gave up a solo homer to Miguel Sano to make it 2-1, Astros in the third. The Twins then took the lead in the fifth when former Astro great, Robbie Grossman, hit a go-ahead two-run home run. Brian Dozier made it back-to-back jacks as his solo dinger made it 4-2, Twins.
However, the Astros responded. After watching the Astros offense sputter throughout the early parts of August, it was a pleasant surprise to see the Astros respond with three runs as Springer doubled, Bregman walked and Altuve singled in front of Correa, who poked a two-run double off the right field wall to tie the game.
Marwin Gonzalez's RBI groundout followed to put Houston on top.
Heck, maybe it was the guy pitching, Hector Santiago, who was traded from the Angels to the Twins at the trade deadline (Houston is 11-1 against the Angels this season). Santiago allowed five runs (four earned) on seven hits in 5.1 innings.
You know what also was cool? Michael Feliz throwing 1.2 innings scoreless, with a big assist from Jake Marisnick, who threw a one-hop dart to cut down Trevor Plouffe at home to keep Houston in front in the sixth. Altuve knocked home Tony Kemp with an RBI single in the seventh to stretch Houston's lead to two.
Pat Neshek came up big by getting the last out of the seventh, and in doing so stranding two Feliz runners.
Even cooler: a Will Harris scoreless inning! It was Harris's first scoreless outing in five appearances (woof) as he has moved back to a setup role that he excelled in earlier this season.
Marisnick's triple and Springer's sac fly that followed in the ninth inning gave Ken Giles some breathing room as Giles converted his second save of the season despite allowing a leadoff double to Kurt Suzuki and later an RBI groundout to Dozier. Houston is 58-55.
The Astros gained no ground in the division as a four-run eighth fueled a 7-5 Rangers win this afternoon in Colorado. As for the wild card, Houston remains four games back as the Red Sox beat the Yankees.
Game three of the four-game series starts Wednesday night at 7:10 with Dallas Keuchel looking to build off his shutout of Texas on Friday as he takes on Ervin Santana.