Houston lost three of four

Astros drop finale to Twins as Minnesota takes the series

Houston's offense once again came up short of the Twins on Sunday, dropping three of four in the series. Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images

After rebounding out of their three-game losing streak with a win on Saturday, the Astros tried to work a series split with another victory on Sunday. Instead, the Twins would once again hand them disappointment, handing Houston another loss.

Final Score: Twins 7, Astros 5

Astros' Record: 66-46, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Kenta Maeda (5-4)

Losing Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (9-3)

Houston strikes first before Twins get to McCullers Jr.

After a scoreless top half of the inning by Lance McCullers Jr., the Astros plated a run in the bottom of the first. They put the first two runners on base on a single and a walk, setting up an RBI single by Aledmyz Diaz to take a 1-0 lead. The twins responded quickly, getting that run back to tie the game in the top of the second on a two-out RBI single. McCullers Jr. rebounded with a scoreless third, but in the fourth, issued a leadoff walk which proved costly with a two-run homer in the next at-bat to put Minnesota ahead 3-1.

Despite allowing two singles, he finished that inning and received a run from his offense on an RBI single by Taylor Jones in the bottom half but was met with a leadoff solo homer in the top of the fifth to give it right back. He would get two outs while loading the bases on a single, walk, and hit by pitch, leaving with two outs as Dusty Baker would bring in Phil Maton to finish the inning. His final line: 4.2 IP, 8 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 2 HR, 89 P.

Twins expand their lead

Houston crept back into it in the bottom of the fifth, getting a runner on third to set up an RBI single by Yordan Alvarez to make it a one-run game at 4-3. Minnesota quickly took back the momentum, putting up a single and a walk against Maton before a three-run homer put them firmly back in front 7-3. Maton would face just one more batter before Blake Taylor would enter to try and finish the frame, which he would do by stranding the bases loaded after allowing two singles and a walk but escaping damage.

Rafael Montero took over in the top of the seventh, tossing the first 1-2-3 inning of the day for Houston. The Astros tried starting a rally in the bottom of the seventh, getting Jake Meyer's first MLB hit on a two-out double, followed by an RBI double by Aledmys Diaz to cut the lead to 7-4. Montero remained in the game in the top of the eighth, getting two outs and allowing a walk before experiencing an injury that would take him out of the game. Yimi Garcia made the quick entry and finished off the frame.

Astros lose the series

Carlos Correa got his team another run closer, leading the bottom of the eighth off with a solo homer to make it 7-5. With two outs, Dusty Baker went to his bench, using Jose Altuve to pinch-hit who, to that point, had the day off. Altuve worked a walk to bring the tying run to the plate, another pinch hitter, Jason Castro, who struck out to end the inning. After a 1-2-3 top of the ninth by Garcia, the Astros would come up empty in the bottom of the inning, dropping three of four to the Twins to lose the series.

Up Next: Houston will enjoy a day off on Monday before the Rockies come to Houston for a two-game series starting Wednesday at 7:10 PM Central. In the opener, the expected pitching matchup is Jon Gray (7-7, 3.67 ERA) for Colorado and Jake Odorizzi (4-6, 4.95 ERA) for the Astros.

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