Astros dominate the Twins in lopsided win

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 11-0 win

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After being shutout in the loss the night before, the Astros looked to turn things around on offense on Tuesday night in the dreary weather in Minneapolis for game two of four with the Twins. Here's a quick stat breakdown and three hits from the game:

Final Score: Astros 11, Twins 0

Record: 18-12, first in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (2-4, 3.95 ERA).

Losing pitcher: Michael Pineda (2-2, 6.21 ERA).

1) No stopping this train

Although it looked like he might be in for a rough night after walking the first two batters to start his night, Gerrit Cole turned that around quick to post his best start of the season and most dominant since his complete-game shutout with sixteen strikeouts in Arizona almost exactly one year ago.

Cole did not allow a hit until the sixth inning, and that one hit to go with three walks would be his only flaws in a seven-inning scoreless start with eleven strikeouts. The eleven Ks moved him to 65 for the year, a new record for American League starters before May and keeping him well out in front in the strikeout column in the AL.

2) Offense heats up in the cold weather 

There was no shutting out Houston's offense on Tuesday night, as they jumped ahead early on an RBI-double by George Springer in the top of the third to take a 1-0 lead. Springer doubled the lead to 2-0 with a line-drive solo dinger to lead off the fifth, then later in the same inning Carlos Correa notched an RBI with a sacrifice fly to make it 3-0.

They'd strike again in the top of the sixth, putting together a big four-run inning after a two-run homer by Jake Marisnick, a solo homer from Alex Bregman, and an RBI-single from Correa. Correa would get his third RBI of the night in the eighth, drawing a bases-loaded walk before Houston would add three more insurance runs on RBIs from Aledmys Diaz and Josh Reddick then scoring on an error to extend the lead to 11-0.

3) Bullpen finishes the shutout

With Cole's dominant night done after seven innings, Josh James came in for the eighth and was able to find his way out of a two-out bases loaded jam. Chris Devenski took over in the ninth and closed out the game to get Houston back in the win column.

Up Next: Houston and Minnesota will get started a little later tomorrow than the first two games, starting game three of four at 7:10 PM. Collin McHugh (3-2, 4.78 ERA) will start for the Astros opposite of Martin Perez (3-0, 4.44 ERA) for the Twins.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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Houston scored in droves

Astros drub Twins in finale to take series win

Houston's offense showered Minnesota with hits in Sunday's finale. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After splitting the first two games, with Houston's offense uncharacteristically ineffective in the loss on Saturday, they tried to turn things around with a win to take the series on Sunday. The Astros would bounce right back at the plate, getting hits and runs all through the afternoon to rout the Twins.

Final Score: Astros 14, Twins 3

Astros' Record: 37-28, second in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Framber Valdez (3-0)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (3-4)

Valdez keeps rolling

Framber Valdez continued to impress in 2021 after starting his season on the IL, posting another quality start with a win against the Twins. After four scoreless frames, he allowed a solo homer to start the bottom of the fifth, just the third hit of the game for Minnesota to that point. He went on to retire the next three batters to get through the inning.

He faltered a bit in the bottom of the sixth, allowing a leadoff double followed by a single, with a run coming across on an error on that play. He once again rebounded to finish that frame, then put up a 1-2-3 seventh to finish his day off, notching another quality start and a win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 1 HR, 97 P.

Houston keeps their foot on the gas

While Valdez's outing was a highlight of its own, Houston's offense was the story of the day. They put their foot down on the pedal all day and did not let up, starting in the top of the first when Jose Altuve turned the first pitch of the game around for a single, later scoring on a sac fly by Alex Bregman to put the Astros in front 1-0.

After two scoreless innings, they got right back on the scoreboard in the fourth with a two-run homer by Kyle Tucker, then kept pouring it on with two runs in the fifth on a sac fly by Yuli Gurriel and an error, making it 5-0 at the time. The runs kept coming in the top of the sixth, with a two-RBI double by Michael Brantley, who would score later on a two-run bomb by Yordan Alvarez. Then, in the top of the seventh, Brantley struck again to push it to double-digits with a two-RBI single to make it 11-2 and give Brantley 4 RBI on the afternoon.

With Houston swapping out starters with the hefty lead, even their pinch-hitters were getting involved, with Chas McCormick leading the top of the eighth off with a solo shot to make it a ten-run game. They then loaded the bases with no outs, setting up a sac fly for Myles Straw to make it 13-2.

Astros take the series

In the bottom of the eighth, Ralph Garza Jr. came in as the first reliever out of the bullpen for Houston. He recorded two quick outs but then met Nelson Cruz, who lasered a solo homer to put it back at a ten-run game before finishing the frame. Houston put their twentieth hit on the board in the top of the ninth, their highest total this season, en route to another scoring inning with a sac fly by Robel Garcia to make it 14-3. Garza came in for his second inning of work to wrap things up in the bottom of the ninth, giving the Astros a successful end to this series and road trip.

Up Next: Houston will travel home before an off day on Monday to rest before 20 days of consecutive games. They'll kick off a six-game homestand on Tuesday, welcoming in the Rangers for two starting at 7:10 PM Central. Lance McCullers Jr. (3-1, 2.96 ERA) will make his return from the IL for the Astros, though Jake Odorizzi will "piggy-back" him, and Kyle Gibson (4-0, 2.13 ERA) will take the mound for Texas.

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