Houston has lost three in a row
Astros drop third straight with extra-inning loss to Twins
Losers of back-to-back games, the Astros tried to right the ship on Friday night at home against the Twins in the second of this four-game set. After a couple of early home runs had them looking in prime position, the game would ultimately go to extra innings, where Minnesota would complete the comeback.
Final Score (11 innings): Twins 5, Astros 4
Astros' Record: 65-45, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Juan Minaya (2-0)
Losing Pitcher: Rafael Montero (5-4)
Jones and McCormick homer Houston to a lead
After a scoreless first inning on both sides, Houston put a runner in scoring position with a two-out double in the bottom of the second, setting up Taylor Jones for a two-run homer to start the scoring and give the Astros a 2-0 advantage. Then, in the bottom of the fourth, Chas McCormick extended the lead by another run with a solo blast, making it 5-0, heading to the fifth.
Greinke cruises early, then gets dinged
After cruising through the first four innings, the Twins were able to get to Zack Greinke in the top of the fifth. A leadoff solo home run cut the lead to two runs, then back-to-back singles followed to set up an RBI groundout later in the inning, making it a one-run game. They kept the pressure on Greinke in the next inning, leading the top of the sixth with a double, then tying the game with a one-out RBI single, knocking him out of winning position. His final line: 6.0 IP, 6 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HR, 82 P.
Astros lose in extras
It was then on the Houston bullpen to give their offense a chance to get back in front. Ryne Stanek was first, tossing a scoreless seventh, followed by a 1-2-3 eighth by Kendall Graveman. Still gridlocked in the ninth, Ryan Pressly returned to the mound from his paternity leave and maintained the stalemate with a scoreless ninth with two strikeouts. After going down in order in the bottom of the ninth, the Astros moved on to Phil Maton in the top of the tenth to try and keep the Twins off the board by erasing the free runner on second. Instead, Minnesota would get their first lead of the game with a single to move the runner to third and a sac fly to break the tie, 4-3.
Houston responded, getting a productive out by Michael Brantley to move Jose Altuve, the free runner, to third to start the bottom of the tenth. Yordan Alvarez re-tied things in the next at-bat with an RBI single, but they would again come up short of a walk-off. Rafael Montero was Houston's next reliever but would allow an RBI single to begin the eleventh, putting the Twins back on top 5-4 before he would finish the frame. Minnesota held on to that lead, finishing off the win in the bottom of the eleventh to hand Houston their third-straight defeat.
Up Next: The third game of this series will get underway at 6:10 PM Central on Saturday. Houston will try to end their losing skid and get back into this series with Luis Garcia (7-6, 3.49 ERA) on the mound, while the Twins will try to secure the series win with Michael Pineda (4-6, 3.89 ERA).
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