The team with four hits beat the team with eight hits. Its a good thing for the Astros today that the winning team in baseball is the one with the most runs, not the most hits.
The Twins had eight hits, seven singles and one double, but left 11 men on base. They were 2-12 with runners in scoring position, and only got an RBI out of one of those hits. So with eight hits the Twins only got one run.
The Astros only got four hits, but two of them were the 4 bag variety, Alex Bregman’s in the first, his 28th, and Yuli Gurriel’s in the fourth, and those count more.
Here’s another unique celebration of a Bregman homer.
And here’s La Pena’s blast, only his ninth of the year.
Courtesy of bad Twins fielding, the Astros were gifted with two more runs in the second, courtesy of Jorge Polanco, who let a would be double play ground ball go into left field, runners first and third. Brian McCann, looking better since knee surgery, hit a sharp line drive single to right, scoring Tyler White and putting runners back on the corners. Evan Gattis would plate the second run that inning with a double play that scored Yuli Gurriel. Both runs that inning were unearned.
Now I said before the Twins had eight hits but only one run. I didn’t tell you that even that run was unearned, a return favor from the Astros’ shortstop. After a Mitch Garver single, Carlos Correa air mailed a throw to first on a Robbie Grossman grounder, putting runners on first and third. Miguel Sano singled in Garver, but Keuchel closed the inning with two strikeouts.
The line on Keuchel: six innings, five hits, two walks, six K’s, one run, unearned. Some people said he didn’t have his best stuff tonight. His control was a little off, only 62 strikes out of 100 pitches, but if this is Keuchel when he is off, I’ll take it.
Collin McHugh took the seventh and eighth innings after Keuchel and was absolutely dominant, getting five strikeouts. He’s been a little rough lately, so it is great to see him back on track.
Hector Rondon was sent into the ninth to close the game, but a sharp line drive hit him in his pitching wrist and he had to leave the game. Let’s hope this is a minor injury, as Rondon is an important cog in the Astros bullpen.
Will Harris came in for Rondon and got two outs but walked a batter. Brad Peacock was sent in to get the last out but let Logan Forsythe single, loading the bases. The next hitter, Jorge Polanco, who hits .317 against right handed pitching, got to a 3-2 count on Peacock after hitting two sharp line drives just foul. But Peacock blew a high two seamer past the swinging Polanco, game over.
Nice win, we’ll take it, but winning with only four hits is probably not a likely formula for success long term Since the All Star break the Astros are 12th in MLB in runs scored. We’re still waiting for consistent hitting as the Astros approach the play offs.
Still awaiting the turnaround on the number four hitter, Carlos Correa, who was 0-3 today, and since his return from the DL, is hitting .184, with a wRC+ of 45. However his last seven games have shown a slight upward trend, .208, 64, not including today. Still Mendoza-like.
Tomorrow Justin Verlander faces Trevor May, game time 7:10 CDT.
Box score and videos here.