HOUSTON -- Every Astros starter had a hit, including three from Marwin Gonzalez and two apiece from Jose Altuve, Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick, as Houston continued its assault on Twins pitching with a 10-5 win in the series opener on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.The Astros, who scored
HOUSTON -- Every Astros starter had a hit, including three from Marwin Gonzalez and two apiece from Jose Altuve, Carlos Beltran and Josh Reddick, as Houston continued its assault on Twins pitching with a 10-5 win in the series opener on Friday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros, who scored 40 runs in a three-game series at Minnesota at the end of May, sent 12 batters to the plate in the second inning and scored eight runs, capped by a three-run homer by Brian McCann. At 61-29, the Astros are 32 games over .500 for the first time since the final day of the 1999 season.
"We're going to go out there and score runs," said Altuve, who went 2-for-4 with a walk. "You have a lot of guys that are playing really good on our team, so as a pitcher you have to stop us from getting on base and scoring runs, because that's what we've been doing all season long."
Friday's second inning was the fourth time this season the Astros scored at least eight runs in a frame, and their second time against the Twins. It's the first time since 1984 the Astros have done that.
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"That inning just continued to go," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "It's one of the things I love the most about our team -- we just keep coming at you. At-bat after at-bat continues to be good, and we can put some big innings on some really good pitchers. If we get an extra walk, an extra baserunner like today, we've been pretty good at capitalizing on some things."
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Astros starter Charlie Morton (7-3) struck out 10 batters and pitched around five walks and three hits in five innings, allowing four earned runs. Twins starter Jose Berrios (8-3) was tagged for seven runs in 1 2/3 innings, but only two were earned thanks to a fielding error by shortstop Jorge Polanco in the second.
"It just seemed from the get-go, for whatever reason, that [Berrios] looked uncomfortable," said Twins manager Paul Molitor of Berrios. "He just kind of looked like he was in a rush with his body, and his command was off on all his pitches. Just trying to find a way to get through that second somehow, and it never happened. They put up a big number."
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MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Mac's attack: McCann capped the Astros' eight-run outburst in the second inning by walloping a three-run homer on an 0-2 pitch off reliever Phil Hughes, who had just entered the game, pushing Houston's lead to 8-1. The homer was McCann's 243rd in his career as a catcher, tying him with Javy Lopez for ninth-most among catchers in MLB history.
Devo to the rescue: As the Astros watched a nine-run lead dwindle to five, the Twins rallied against Houston reliever Michael Feliz in the sixth and loaded the bases with two outs, putting the potential tying run on deck. That was enough of an alarm for Astros manager A.J. Hinch to summon All-Star reliever Chris Devenski from the 'pen, and Devenski got Robbie Grossman to fly out to right field to end the rally. That was the third inning in a row the Twins loaded the bases.
"It was slowly starting to deteriorate, and they had a lot of baserunners," Hinch said. "It just wasn't worth not going to our [best] guys."
"I think both teams looked like they had four days off, to be honest. I don't think that was a very clean game. We got away with a lot, specifically the [nine] walks and a few misplays in the field. It wasn't a game that we're going to keep the video and continue to replay it. It was pretty ugly." -- Hinch
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Alex Bregman's RBI double in the second inning gave the Astros a double in 47 consecutive games.
On the second pitch of the game, Minnesota second baseman James Dozier clubbed his second leadoff home run of the season to Minute Maid's Crawford Boxes in left field. It was his 21st career leadoff shot, passing Jacque Jones to set a franchise record. More >
Twins: All-Star Ervin Santana will face Houston for the second time season at 6:10 p.m. CT Saturday at Minute Maid Park. In a no-decision on May 29, the right-hander allowed two runs on five hits in seven innings.
Astros: Right-hander Joe Musgrove makes his second start since returning from Triple-A when the Astros face the Twins on Saturday at Minute Maid Park. Musgrove held the Braves to four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings on Wednesday in Atlanta.
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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.
Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Friday.