Tonight’s game started like a broken record. (For you millenials out there a record is a plastic disc that....never mind) In the now departed three game losing streak the opposition teams scored a total of 10 runs in the first inning to the Astros’ 0. In each game the Astros started the game behind by crooked numbers, and could never quite catch up.
So tonight, in the first inning, you could hear the collective moan, you could feel the aggregated anguish of every Astros fan scattered across the fruited plain when Eddie Rosario hit a classic short porch, Crawford Box, three run home run off starter Wade Miley. Not another pitching meltdown, please. Not another blowout. When is it going to stop?
It WAS another blowout. And it stopped tonight. It was an Astros blowout of the opposition at long last. Wade Miley did not surrender another run. In fact, after the first batter of the second inning, Wade Miley did not allow another base runner, getting fifteen straight batters until leaving the game after the sixth inning. He only allowed three hits and even had seven strikeouts. Considering the puny nature of the home run that accounted for all the runs against him, 339 feet hit at 96 MPH, usually an easy, routine out but for the vagaries of left field in MMP, this performance would be considered a Wade Miley masterpiece.
Considering the pitching performances in the three games before this, we’ll take the mere quality start, especially when the bats popped like they did tonight. The team had 12 hits and 5 walks, and multi-hit games from George Springer, Carlos Correa, Josh Reddick and Tyler White. White has been on base on seven consecutive plate appearances. Reddick is 8 for 12 in his last three games.
And just for sweet revenge after three games of frustration, Jose Altuve made the game a laugher with a monster three run shot over the Crawford Boxes in the eighth, making the final score of 10-4.
The Astros, after finding themselves behind as usual after the first inning, began nibbling away in the third, when Tyler White led off with a walk, Max Stassi singled, and George Springer singled in the first run.
The score would remain 3-1 until the fifth, when the new master of hit em where they ain’t, oppo taco specialist Josh Reddick, led off with a double to right. Tyler White singled Reddick to third, and with one out George Springer doubled down the left field line, scoring Reddick. Alex Bregman would give the Astros their first lead in 31 innings with a single, scoring White and Springer, but was thrown out at second trying for what looked like an easy double.
The Astros added two more runs in the seventh with an Alex Bregman sac fly with the bases loaded followed by a Michael Brantley single to score George Springer.
In the eighth inning the Twins suffered a number of meltdowns leading to the Altuve home run. The inning started with an error on shortstop Jorge Polanco on a routine grounder by Yuli Gurriel, who advanced to third on yet another single by Josh Reddick. Jake Marisnick’s bunt, who replaced Tyler White earlier as a pinch runner,went straight to the pitcher Tyler Duffey. Instead of throwing home and getting the easy tag out of Yuli Gurriel, Duffey threw to second, ostensibly to get the double play. Instead he threw the ball into center field, all runners safe.
Duffey then apparently missed a sign, and threw a fastball that struck the surprised catcher’s mask for a passed ball, runners advanced. After two strikeouts, Altuve then launched his 391 foot bomb, exit velo 105, to ice the game, and put the Astros back in the winning column.
The winning pitcher was Hector Rondon, despite giving up the Twins’ fourth run in the seventh. Ryan Pressly got the hold in the eighth, accruing his 30th straight scoreless appearance. Will Harris closed out the game with a scoreless ninth.
Tomorrow Justin Verlander faces Kohl Stewart, who has logged only 36 Major league innings.
Box Score and videos HERE