Astros erupt for 11-run rally in 8th to stun Twins
By Rhett Bollinger and Brian McTaggart
MINNEAPOLIS -- The Astros shocked the Twins with an 11-run eighth, overcoming a six-run deficit for the first time since 2008, for their season-high-tying fifth consecutive win, 16-8, on Monday afternoon at Target Field. Houston was 0-659 in franchise history going back to 1962 when entering the eighth down by six runs, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
"We have shown that no matter how far behind in the game we fall we're going to try to continue to push good at-bats, and I think that's what we did," said Beltran, who went 4-for-5 with a homer. "We were able to put good at-bats out there. We got good results and with men in scoring position [11-for-17], we were able to get those in. I mean, it's a team effort for sure."
It was the fourth time the Astros overcame a five-run deficit this year. Alex Bregman added a two-run homer in the ninth to put an exclamation point on Houston's victory.
The Astros, who improved to 36-16, lead the Majors with 19 comeback wins, including four of at least five runs.
"This lineup is something special," Reddick said. "These guys grind away and do what we did that inning. [My] at-bat comes into play when we get the lead, but you have to look at it when we're down 8-2 and the guys keep doing their job and keep grinding runs in."
Breslow was charged with three runs, getting the loss, while reliever Ryan Pressly was charged with four runs while recording only one out. Carlos Correa ripped an RBI single before Marwin Gonzalez plated two runs with a single to deep left that Ehire Adrianza couldn't handle. Pinch-hitter Evan Gattis added an RBI groundout before a short rain delay occurred while Breslow was facing George Springer with two outs. After a 10-minute delay, Springer pulled an RBI single to left.
"It was embarrassing," Pressly said. "We have to get people out. We have to continue to grind and put this one behind us."
It spoiled a strong outing from Twins right-hander Ervin Santana, who allowed two runs over seven innings while throwing a season-high 114 pitches. The Astros scored both of their runs against Santana in the fourth with Correa crushing a solo homer that went a projected 444 feet, per Statcast™. Santana also threw a wild pitch with two outs to score Beltran. But he settled down from there, lowering his ERA to 1.75.
"I was just trying to do the best I could to stay in the game because I knew the bullpen was tired," Santana said. "I feel bad for them. It's tough when you have a lot of consecutive games pitching."
Astros right-hander Brad Peacock cruised early, but ran into trouble in the fifth with Jorge Polanco sparking the rally with an RBI triple. A passed ball tied it, and the Twins took the lead on a go-ahead RBI single from Brian Dozier to knock Peacock from the game after 4 2/3 innings.
Robbie Grossman and Joe Mauer added RBI hits before Miguel Sano smashed a two-run homer. The homer from Sano snapped a 1-for-18 skid. Grossman later added a solo shot against his former team in the seventh. Grossman's homer left the bat at 106 mph, and was his hardest-hit homer in the Statcast™ era (since 2015).
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED Buxton's injury proves costly: Buxton left the game after suffering a lacerated finger when he caught it on Rosario's cleat while making a diving attempt in the sixth. It ended up having a trickle-down effect, as it forced Adrianza into left and Rosario to center.
Adrianza had never played outfield in the Majors before and couldn't handle Gonzalez's single to the wall. And Rosario just missed making a sliding catch in right-center that would've ended the eighth, but ended up as the go-ahead two-run double from Reddick.
"X-rays were negative but it swelled up on him pretty significantly with a cut there," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I think [Adrianza] played it pretty well. He got back there and made the leap, but couldn't make the catch. He hasn't been out there. We all know that."
Astros erupt after rain delay: After Breslow fell behind Springer 2-0, a short 10-minute rain delay occurred, and after Breslow got Springer to swing through a changeup, Breslow went back to the pitch and Springer roped it to left for an RBI single to extend the inning and make it a one-run game.
"There were some people angry when they pulled the tarp," Beltran said. "Kind of like we felt like they took a little momentum away from us, but I think everything worked out in our favor. After they took the tarp off we were able to put up that great inning and it was fun to watch."
"It's a hard one. I think it's magnified by yesterday's loss in extra innings. We let one slip away today." -- Molitor
"I don't put anything past him anymore. He's very aggressive out there and I love it," -- Springer, on third-base coach Gary Pettis, who aggressively sent him home with the go-ahead run in the eighth on Reddick's double
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The 11-run eighth was the first time the Astros scored 11 runs in an inning since July 18, 1994, against the Cardinals. It was the first time the Twins allowed 11 runs in an inning since July 25, 2007, at Toronto. The 14 runs allowed by Minnesota's bullpen was a franchise record.
The Astros unsuccessfully challenged a play in the eighth, when Bregman was ruled out at second on a force play for the second out. After a short review, the call was confirmed by replay and Bregman was out.
WHAT'S NEXT Astros: Right-hander Mike Fiers (1-2, 5.21 ERA) will start Tuesday's 7:10 p.m. CT game against the Twins at Target Field. Fiers, who allowed four runs (three earned) and 10 hits in 4 2/3 innings on Thursday against the Tigers, entered Monday tied with Bronson Arroyo for the MLB lead with 18 homers allowed.
Twins: Right-hander Jose Berrios (3-0, 1.66 ERA) is set to make his fourth start of the year when the Twins host the Astros in the second game of the series. Berrios is coming off a win over the Orioles, allowing three runs, all on solo homers, over 6 1/3 innings.