Houston gets a win over Minnesota

Astros back Garcia to end three-game skid with shutout win over Twins

Luis Garcia posted another quality start in Saturday's game against the Twins. Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images

After dropping their third straight game in the second game of the series, the Astros tried again to get things back on track on Saturday in game three of this four-game set. Although runs would be scarce early, they belonged to the Astros, who backed up a quality start from Luis Garcia to get back in the win column.

Final Score: Astros 4, Twins 0

Astros' Record: 66-45, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Luis Garcia (8-6)

Losing Pitcher: Michael Pineda (4-7)

Houston strikes first to back up Garcia's great start

Like in the game prior, the Astros started the scoring in the bottom of the second inning. It came on three straight singles to lead off the frame, the third an RBI single by Chas McCormick to give Houston the early 1-0 lead. Still 1-0 in the bottom of the fourth, Yordan Alvarez doubled the score with a solo homer, and the 2-0 score would hold through Luis Garcia's time on the mound.

Garcia had a great start; retiring the first ten batters he faced before a one-out double in the fourth gave the Twins their first hit and baserunner on the night. He would erase it, though, and allowed just one other baserunner on a one-out double in the fifth as he would complete six scoreless innings. His final line: 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 8 K, 85 P.

Astros get back in the win column

Houston moved to their bullpen in the top of the seventh, as Ryne Stanek took over for Garcia and worked around a two-out single for a scoreless inning. Kendall Graveman was next, and he, too, maintained the two-run lead by erasing a hit in a scoreless top of the eighth.

Houston added insurance runs in the bottom half by getting two on base to set up a two-RBI double by Aledmyz Diaz to double the lead to 4-0. Even with the runs moving it out of a save situation, Ryan Pressly still came in to close things out in the ninth. He did so, sitting down the Twins 1-2-3 to wrap up the victory for the Astros.

Up Next: The finale of this four-game series will get started at 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Kenta Maeda (4-4, 4.65 ERA) will be on the mound for the Twins, while Lance McCullers Jr. (9-2, 3.02 ERA) will go for the Astros trying to grab his tenth win of 2021.

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MLB Network released their list of the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball this week, and two names were suspiciously left off. Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier are nowhere to be found on the list. Apparently, dominating one of the best lineups in baseball on the biggest stage means nothing?

Be sure to check out the video above as Paul Gallant shares his thoughts on the rankings.

Listen to The Paul Gallant Show from 10am-12pm weekdays on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM!

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