Astros Fan Fest

Astros Hall of Fame announcement headlines annual Fan Fest

Photo by Paul St. Martin

Astros fans were treated to an oasis of hardball in an otherwise cold winter devoid of any baseball. Minute Maid Park opened its doors to the public for the Astros annual Fan Fest event.

The gates opened at 11 am to the free event filled with autograph sessions, photo ops, and Q&A forums with some of the Astros' most famous players. For those willing to spend the cash, fans were given the opportunity to throw bullpen sessions, play catch in the outfield, or take a swing in the batting cages.

Shortly after opening to the public a press conference was broadcast throughout the park announcing the establishment of the Astros Hall of Fame. The hall will replace the outfield concourse currently referred to as "Home Run Alley," and inductees will receive a bright orange Hall of Fame blazers and plaques.

As the afternoon lingered on, the lines stretched further and further with fans looking to get a piece of Astros history. Out in right field, fans lined up for the annual "garage sale," where excess inventory from the previous season's promotions are laid out on fold out tables with bargain price tags slapped on them. In the team store located at first base, fans were scrambled to lock down their own piece of authentic Astros memorabilia. From game used jerseys to ballpark furniture, and even down to five-gallon buckets of MLB authenticated dirt from Tal's Hill, it was easy to see that there was something for everyone.

While most lines provided Astros fans with an opportunity to own a part of Astros history, one particular line on the third base line concourse provided fans with an opportunity to glimpse into the future. Those in attendance were able to sample the one of the newest beer recipes from Karbach Brewing Company, the Crawford Bock. The new beer represents a unique collaboration between the Astros and Houston's largest brewery. Fans unable to sample the new recipe will have little trouble finding it, as the installation of a field-level Karbach bar behind home plate has already begun.

The bevy of new announcements and additions to the ballpark came as a welcome surprise to all. From the young fans running the basepaths in the infield to the old fans lounging in the Crawford Boxes happily ruminating in the simple fact that they were back at the ballpark, it was apparent the the Astros latest iteration of Fan Fest was one of the most successful implementations in the past several years.

Pitching woes continue for Houston

Astros daily report presented by APG&E: Twins 9, Astros 5

Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

After a disappointing series in Arlington to wrap up their recent road trip, the Astros were back at home to start a three-game series with the Twins on Monday night. Here's how the series opener went:

Final Score: Twins 9, Astros 5

Record: 13-9, second in the AL West.

Winning pitcher: Jake Odorizzi (2-2).

Losing pitcher: Brad Peacock (2-1).

Star of the game: Josh Reddick had a great night at the plate in the loss on Monday night, going 3 for 4 including an RBI single which at the time had Houston within two runs of the Twins.

Notes: For the third straight game, the Astros could not get out of the first inning without letting the opposing team take a lead. Brad Peacock got out to a rough start, allowing two runs on two hits and two walks in the top of the first, putting Minnesota up 2-0 before Houston could get to the plate. Former Astro Jason Castro extended the lead to 3-0 with a leadoff solo home run in the top of the second. The Astros got a run back in the bottom of the fourth on an RBI single from Josh Reddick, and almost had another on a double by Tyler White, but the Twins were able to gun down Reddick at home plate to end the inning and keep it a two-run game at 3-1.

Peacock's three-run night was done after five innings, and Josh James took over in the top of the sixth, but he'd allow four runs to score to break the game open at 7-1 in favor of the Twins. Michael Brantley took one run back in the bottom of the inning, launching a solo home run to make it 7-2, then Houston was able to get two runners on in the bottom of the seventh to set up Carlos Correa for a huge three-run home run to make it a 7-5 game. Chris Devenski took over on the mound in the top of the eighth and would allow a two-out two-run home run to the Twins to put them back ahead by four runs at 9-5. The Astros would be unable to get any closer than that, getting no runs in the eighth or ninth to drop the first game of the series.

Up Next: Game two of the series will get underway at the same time on Tuesday night, with first pitch at 7:10 PM. Houston will send out Wade Miley (1-2, 3.32 ERA) who will go up against Michael Pineda (2-1, 5.30 ERA) for the Twins.

The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.

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