Globe iconLogin iconRecap iconSearch iconTickets icon
news

MLB News

Bregman delivers for Astros; 3 keys to win

@brianmctaggart
April 24, 2019

HOUSTON -- After falling behind in the first inning for the fourth game in a row, the Astros weren’t about to let themselves again be buried by an early deficit. Wade Miley overcome a shaky first to throw six quality innings, and Alex Bregman, George Springer and Tyler White sparked

HOUSTON -- After falling behind in the first inning for the fourth game in a row, the Astros weren’t about to let themselves again be buried by an early deficit.

Wade Miley overcome a shaky first to throw six quality innings, and Alex Bregman, George Springer and Tyler White sparked the Astros to a 10-4 come-from-behind victory over the Twins to snap a three-game losing streak on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.

“We’re never out of it, obviously, and we came on pretty strong at the end of the game,” Astros manager AJ Hinch said.

The Astros scored six runs in their final two innings, capped by a three-run homer by José Altuve in the eighth -- his team-leading ninth of the season. Altuve was just one of many heroes on this night for Houston:

Bregman comes through
After popping out and flying out in his first two at-bats, Bregman delivered a huge base hit with a single to left field in the fifth inning to drive in White and Springer, who reached base four times, scored twice and had two RBIs. Bregman was thrown out at second base trying to stretch to a double, but the clutch hit gave the Astros a 4-3 lead. Then in the seventh, Bregman’s bases-loaded sacrifice fly gave Houston the lead again at 5-4, and the Astros didn’t let go of it.

Bregman is 22-for-58 (.379) with a .500 on-base percentage and 11 RBIs after beginning the season 1-for-15, raising his batting average .315 from .118 during that stretch.

“I don’t know anyone else we’d want up there other than Bregman in those spots,” Hinch said. “His discipline is excellent, his heartbeat is calm, his production is awesome. It’s not a secret. He’s been doing it on the big stage for his entire career so far.”

Going the extra Miley
Miley gave up a three-run homer to Eddie Rosario in the first inning after a walk and an infield single, putting the Astros in an early hole. Houston had been outscored, 10-0, in the first inning of its previous three games and was never able to recover, but Miley righted the ship on Tuesday.

The left-hander sent down the 17 of the final 18 batters he faced after the Rosario homer, including the final 15 batters in one of the more dominating stretches by an Astros starting pitcher this year. Miley struck out seven batters and walked one while throwing 87 pitches. He’s given up three runs or fewer in 21 consecutive starts.

“Springer told me in Spring Training, ‘Just give the boys a chance,’ and obviously, we see that,” Miley said. “My job is to keep it right there and we did. We bounced back and put some runs together and put some big innings together and blew it open in the end, and that’s what this team is capable of.”

Great White
White began to turn his season around Monday by reaching base in all four plate appearances (two singles, two walks), and he continued to post some good at-bats on Tuesday by going 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored. He singled to lead off the seventh inning and was replaced by pinch-runner Jake Marisnick, who scored the go-ahead run on a Bregman’s sacrifice fly.

“It’s been a couple of good games,” White said. “It’s been fun just trying to go out there and help the team in any way possible. It’s good to finally have some success this year. It’s been a little bit of a struggle to start, but that’s how it is in baseball. You have your good times and bad and have to fight through them and keep working, and that’s what I’ve been trying to do.”

Hinch noted White’s body control in the batter’s box has been better, which has resulted in some hits to right field.

“When these guys come in and out of streakiness, it’s about zone control and pitch selection,” Hinch said. “That's oversimplifying it, but it’s very critical. Obviously, it’s hard to hit at this level if you’re at swing mode hitting at everything. His timing is a little bit better and he’s hitting it to the right place, and as they shift him, he’s beating the shift.”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.