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Game Recap: Astros Pound Twins Early, Hold on Behind Verlander 5-2

Bregman’s 3 doubles, Gurriel homer give Stros their fourth straight.

MLB: Minnesota Twins at Houston Astros Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Though you might not remember, last May fans wondered if Alex Bregman would make the All Star team. In July here at Crawfish Boxes we began to speculate whether he was the Astros most valuable player. Now he is in the conversation as League MVP.

Maybe a stretch, but how about a .300, 30 home run, 100 RBI season. It’s too late at night for me to look it up, but when was the last Astro to do that? (leave comment below) He’s hitting .296 with 28 home runs and 91 RBI in early September. Before tonight he had three homers in his previous three games. Tonight he padded his AL lead in doubles with three more giving him a total of 46 for the year.

But let us never take Justin Verlander for granted. Seven innings pitched, one run on 3 hits allowed, and eight strikeouts, putting him back in the league lead over teammate Gerrit Cole. It was his 14th win as he remains loud in the Cy Young conversation.

The Astros jumped to an early lead with Bregman getting the first RBI, scoring George Springer, who was 2-4 tonight , with his first double. Tyler White singled in Bregman, and then Yuli Gurriel unleashed a shot to the Crawford Boxes, giving Verlander a 4-0 lead

This lead would hold until the third when former Astro Robbie Grossman, who was 2-3, doubled in Logan Forsythe for the Twins only run against Verlander. They missed a great chance in the second however, when they loaded the bases with one out, but Verlander induced a pop up and got a strikeout to end the inning.

The Astros got an insurance run in the seventh when Bregman doubled home Tony Kemp, who reached first on a drag bunt single.

Ryan Pressly relieved Verlander in the eighth and struck out the side. Is this another Brent Strom miracle?

If so he needs to fix Chris Devenski. Devenski came in to close the game but surrendered a home run to weak hitting Jorge Polanco, only his fourth of the year, and then he walked Robbie Grossman. Manager A. J. Hinch gave Devenski the hook, and brought in Roberto Osuna for the save.

It is the third time in his last four appearances as an Astro that Devenski has failed to record an out while allowing 9 runs in those three appearances.

Osuna got a fly out to center for out one, allowed a single to Tyler Austin, which put the tying run at the plate. Max Kepler smashed a line drive that could have easily been a two run double into the right field corner, but instead Yuli Gurriel made a game saving stab at the ball, catching the line drive and then tagging first base for a game ending double play.

Here’s Yuli’s game ending grab.

And here’s his homer, the second in two nights.

One downer. Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa were MIA again. Altuve is 0-16 in his last four games and Carlos Correa is 0-10 in his last three.

Ah, they’ll get hot just at the right time, I figure.

Tomorrow the Twins’ Jake Odorizzi faces the rookie Framber Valdez, as Valdez makes his bid to stay on the play off roster.

Game time 7:10 CDT

Box score and videos here.