By Brian McTaggart and Rhett Bollinger
HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve, Jason Castro and Carlos Correa each homered, with Altuve and Correa adding a single and a double, to lead the Astros to consecutive wins for the first time this season in a 16-4 rout of the Twins on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
Altuve (3-for-5) led off the game with his eighth homer to spark a three-run first inning, and it was 6-0 when Brian Dozier of the Twins hit a three-run homer in the third off Houston starter Mike Fiers to cut the lead in half. The red-hot Castro (2-for-3) homered in the third to make it 8-3, and the Astros sent 10 batters to the plate in the fifth and scored five times to take a 14-4 lead.
"I'll take as many of these as we can get," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "This was a nice outburst for our team. This is a fun lineup when we get going like this. I was so proud of our guys for not conceding any at-bats tonight. Even as the game got underway, we kept coming back at them. They hit the big three-run homer by Dozier and the game could swing back any direction, but I thought our guy hung in there and really did a good job of competing at the plate."
Fiers allowed four runs and nine hits in 4 2/3 innings, but it was Scott Feldman picking up the win with two innings of scoreless relief work. Twins starter Phil Hughes was rocked for six runs and six hits in two innings of work to fall to 1-5.
"We have to keep our heads up," Hughes said. "There are a lot of really talented guys in here. We have to keep plugging forward. Nobody is going to feel sorry for us. Maybe our parents will, but that's about it. There's a lot of negativity outside this clubhouse, so it's something we need to avoid as well, because we don't want that creeping in here. We need to stay loose and have fun."
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Breaking out: The Astros' offense enjoyed its biggest outburst of the season, setting a season high in runs scored and hits (14). They went 6-for-11 with runners in scoring position en route to their most runs scored at home since tallying 18 on Aug. 26, 2003, against the Dodgers.
"I think it was a good game," Altuve said. "Everybody was swinging the bat really good, and this is the kind of game we need to get back on track. We need this kind of game to get our confidence up." More >
Dozier goes deep: After a double from Eduardo Nunez and a single from Danny Santana, Dozier connected on a three-run blast to left off Fiers. It was just the second three-run homer of the year for the Twins; Dozier also connected on the other one earlier this season.
"Dozier got the homer, but then they added on again," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "They scored in the first five innings. We tried to get back into it. We loaded the bases [in the fifth], but [John Ryan] Murphy [flied] out, and after that we didn't have much of a chance."
"He's a strong man. He's short, but he's strong. I'm telling you. Pound for pound, he's the strongest guy in this clubhouse." -- Correa, on Altuve's power surge
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS Joe Mauer singled in the third inning to extend his on-base streak to open the season to 28 games. It's the second-longest such streak in Twins history; Kent Hrbek holds the record by getting on base in each of his first 33 games in 1982.
MOLITOR, PRESSLY EJECTED
Twins manager Paul Molitor and right-hander Ryan Pressly were both ejected by home-plate umpire Scott Barry for arguing balls and strikes with two outs in the eighth inning. Molitor made his displeasure with Barry's strike zone known after a two-run double from Castro off Pressly. Pressly was already leaving the game in favor of reliever Michael Tonkin when he was tossed. It was the fourth career ejection for Molitor and the first for Pressly.
"I could see Murphy getting into it and then Pressly getting into it, so a lot of frustration, I'm sure," Molitor said. "I knew he thought [Barry] was missing a couple of pitches. But when I walked out there, I didn't see Ryan coming off, but I guess he got tossed. I knew there was some angst in the air, and so I went and had a conversation. And then I followed Ryan to the clubhouse."
WHAT'S NEXT Twins: After an off-day on Thursday, the Twins head to Chicago for a three-game series against the White Sox on Friday night at 7:10 CT. Right-hander Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 4.05 ERA) starts for Minnesota looking to bounce back from his worst outing of the year.
Astros: The Astros will send rookie Chris Devenski to the mound in Thursday's 7:10 p.m. CT series opener against the Mariners at Minute Maid Park. Devenski will be making his second Major League start after taking the loss in Oakland on Saturday, when he gave up two runs on five hits in five innings.