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The Memorial Day Massacre, 2017. Astros Crush Twins 16-8

One of the great games in Astros history

MLB: Houston Astros at Minnesota Twins Marilyn Indahl-USA TODAY Sports

Today is Memorial Day. Let us here remember those who made the Final Sacrifice to secure the freedom of our country.

On Memorial Day, May 29th, 2017, the Astros made us dare to believe. Even though coming into the series with the Twins, their record was 35 and 16, after 55 years of disappointment, it was hard to believe that even the 2017 Astros would fare any better than previous Astros heartbreakers.

In the eighth inning of the Memorial Day Massacre, we got the first inkling that the 2017 Astros were a team of destiny, a team we could believe in. It was the first game in a three-game series, a series the Astros swept, scoring 39 runs, with ten homers, and 84 total bases.

It may have been the most magnificent series sweep in Astros history.

Following is a Game Recap of this critical milestone in the Astros’ 2017 championship run.

May 29th, 2017. Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The Houston Astros, in their most impressive display of offensive firepower all season, overcame an 8-2 deficit starting the eighth inning to prevail 16-8 eventually. It was the most runs the first-place Astros have scored all season, and the 11 run eighth inning their biggest inning of the season as well.

A fourth-inning homer led the offensive explosion from Carlos Correa, a Carlos Beltran shot to cap off the big eighth inning, and a blast by Alex Bregman in the ninth for good measure. Six Astros batters had two or more hits, led by Beltran with four, and the team ended the game with 18 hits and 31 total bases.

It was the second start of the season by this season’s Cinderella, Brad Peacock. Not expected to make the roster during Spring Training and facing release, due to Colin McHugh’s injury, Peacock grabbed the last roster spot coming out of Florida. So far, in 2017, Peacock has not only saved his career but has become a star performer. By adding a slider to his repertoire, he has become nearly unhittable, coming into this game with a 0.87 ERA in short and long relief and one start.

Today Peacock, starting for the injured Charley Morton, appeared All-Star quality for his first four, shutout innings, but tired in the fifth when he allowed a lead-off double to Max Kepler, followed by a triple to Jorge Polanco. Peacock appeared to be limiting the damage by getting a ground out and a strikeout, but with Polanco still on third and Chris Gimenez, who walked, on first, Brian McCann allowed a passed ball which scored Polanco.

Dozier then singled, which scored Gimenez, bringing rookie Jordan Jankowski in to replace Peacock.

The Twins continued their slugfest, starting with former Astro Robbie Grossman’s RBI double, a Joe Mauer RBI single, and capped off by a Miguel Sano two-run homer, his 12th in what appears to be an All-Star season for one of 2017’s surprise players. Sano put the Twins up 7-2.

With the Twins starter, Ervin Santana seemingly dominating the Astros through the first seven innings, in the bottom of the seventh, the Twins took what looked like an invincible lead when Grossman hit a solo homer off Jankowski, giving the Twins an 8-2 lead going into the eighth.

And even though this was Memorial Day and not Independence Day, at this point, the fireworks commenced.

With Santana out after seven innings, the Astros bats took advantage of a tired and mediocre Twins bullpen, starting with Ryan Pressly. Pressly appeared to have command problems, walking lead-off hitter Josh Reddick and then hitting Jose Altuve with a pitch. Consecutive singles by Correa and Beltran would score two runs, and with one out, Marwin Gonzalez would plate the inning’s third run with another single, this one to the wall in left, which was almost caught.

This would bring Craig Breslow to the mound, who allowed a line drive single to Alex Bregman to load the bases. Beltran would score on the next play, a ground out by Evan Gattis, leaving the score 8-6 with two outs.

After a rain delay appeared to ice the Twins’ staff, even more, George Springer singled home Gonzalez to make it a one-run game. And then Josh Reddick miraculously gave the Astros the lead on a ball that should have been caught, ruled a double that scored pinch-runner Jake Marisnick and Springer.

It would have been enough to win the game, but the Astros weren’t done. Jose Altuve scored Reddick with a single that glanced off the glove of first baseman Mauer. Carlos Correa then walked, and Carlos Beltran added the game’s most crushing blow, a three-run homer to right, giving the Astros a commanding 13-8 lead.

But the Astros were not done teeing off on the Twins bullpen, this time Drew Rucinski. In the ninth, Gonzalez led off with a double and scored on Alex Bregman’s fourth homer. The Astros would finish the scoring when Marisnick scored on a Correa fielder’s choice.

The winning pitcher for the Astros, oddly enough, was Jordan Jankowski, even though he allowed Peacock’s inherited runners to score, and allowed four earned runs of his own in only 2.1 innings. It was his first career win, in what many believe could be many more from the promising 34th round draft pick.

The Astros play the second of a three-game series tomorrow. Hopefully, today’s offensive breakout is the start of something big for the Astros in 2017.

See highlights below.

editor’s note: It was the only win in Jordan Jankowski’s Major League career.