Critical factors to watch for in Astros' clash with Carlos Correa, Twins

CORREA RETURNS!

Critical factors to watch for in Astros' clash with Carlos Correa, Twins
The Astros face Carlos Correa and the Twins this weekend. Composite Getty Image.

Houston Astros (45-42, second in the AL West) vs. Minnesota Twins (49-38, second in the AL Central)

Minneapolis; Friday, 8:10 p.m. EDT

PITCHING PROBABLES: Astros: Shawn Dubin (1-1, 4.91 ERA, 1.56 WHIP, 27 strikeouts); Twins: Pablo Lopez (8-6, 4.88 ERA, 1.15 WHIP, 110 strikeouts)

BETMGM SPORTSBOOK: LINE Twins -159, Astros +133; over/under is 8 runs

BOTTOM LINE: The Minnesota Twins take on the Houston Astros after Jose Miranda had five hits on Thursday in a 12-3 win over the Tigers.

Minnesota has a 49-38 record overall and a 25-17 record in home games. The Twins have gone 36-6 in games when they scored five or more runs.

Houston is 21-23 in road games and 45-42 overall. Astros hitters are batting a collective .264, the best team batting average in the AL.

The teams meet Friday for the fourth time this season.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ryan Jeffers ranks second on the Twins with 30 extra base hits (16 doubles and 14 home runs). Byron Buxton is 14-for-37 with seven doubles, four home runs and 12 RBI over the past 10 games.

Jose Altuve has 17 doubles, 13 home runs and 39 RBI while hitting .308 for the Astros. Yainer Diaz is 17-for-43 with two doubles over the last 10 games.

LAST 10 GAMES: Twins: 7-3, .274 batting average, 3.20 ERA, outscored opponents by 23 runs

Astros: 8-2, .288 batting average, 2.70 ERA, outscored opponents by 29 runs

INJURIES: Twins: Royce Lewis: 10-Day IL (abductor), Brock Stewart: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Chris Paddack: 15-Day IL (arm), Alex Kirilloff: 10-Day IL (back), Justin Topa: 60-Day IL (knee), Daniel Duarte: 60-Day IL (tricep), Zack Weiss: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Anthony DeSclafani: 60-Day IL (elbow)

Astros: Jake Bloss: 15-Day IL (shoulder), Victor Caratini: 10-Day IL (hip), Justin Verlander: 15-Day IL (neck), Cristian Javier: 60-Day IL (forearm), Kyle Tucker: 10-Day IL (shin), Jose Urquidy: 60-Day IL (forearm), Oliver Ortega: 60-Day IL (elbow), Bennett Sousa: 60-Day IL (shoulder), Penn Murfee: 60-Day IL (elbow), Luis Garcia: 60-Day IL (elbow), Lance McCullers Jr.: 60-Day IL (elbow), Kendall Graveman: 60-Day IL (elbow)

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Mariners defeat Astros, 6-4. Composite image by Brandon Strange.

Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez hit for the cycle against the Seattle Mariners on Sunday, becoming the 10th player in Houston history to accomplish the feat.

Alvarez singled in the first inning, hit his 20th homer of the season off Mariners starter Bryan Woo in the fourth, added a run-scoring triple to center field in the sixth off Taylor Saucedo and completed the cycle with a double down the right field line in the eighth against Gregory Santos.

Alvarez finished 4 for 4 with two RBIs and two runs scored in the Astros' 6-4 loss to Seattle.

Asked if he'd ever hit for a cycle in his baseball life, Alvarez said, “Not even in Playstation.”

“I’m very excited,” Alvarez said. “I felt a little bit of pressure there, but I knew I needed a double and when I hit the ball I said, ‘There it is.”

The 27-year-old Alvarez had the second cycle in the history of T-Mobile Park, after Miguel Tejada's on September 29, 2001.

The triple, the sixth of Alvarez's career, came on a fly ball to deep center field. Julio Rodríguez jumped for the ball against the wall, but dropped the catch and sprained his right ankle on the play. The ball rolled toward the infield before left fielder Dylan Moore grabbed it as Alvarez hustled into third.

“It was a confusing play,” Alvarez said. "When I hit the ball, I thought it was going to carry a little bit more, and then I saw him jump at the wall and make the catch, and then I saw him hit the wall and the ball drops and he drops. I just knew I needed to continue running there.”

Before Sunday, the most recent cycle by a member of the Astros came on August 28, 2023, by Jose Altuve against Boston.

Luke Raley hit a three-run homer, Bryan Woo pitched 5 2/3 solid innings and the Seattle Mariners overcame an injury to Julio Rodríguez to beat the Houston Astros 6-4 on Sunday.

The win snapped a five-game losing streak and put the Mariners into a tie with Houston for the AL West Division lead.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: RHPs Justin Verlander (neck discomfort) and Luis Garcia (Tommy John surgery) both felt good after throwing bullpens on Saturday, and Espada said the plan is for both to throw again sometime in the next couple of days.

ROSTER MOVE

The Mariners traded RHP Mike Baumann to the San Francisco Giants on Sunday for cash considerations.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Spencer Arrighetti (4-7, 5.63 ERA) will pitch Monday in Houston’s series opener at Oakland.

Mariners: RHP Bryce Miller (7-7, 3.63 ERA) will start Monday against Angels lefty Tyler Anderson. Miller has a 4.46 ERA in his past seven starts, with 10 walks and 27 strikeouts.

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