The Astros fell behind early as they have in the last few games, all ending in losses. But this time, the pitching righted itself and the offense prevailed.
I’m sure when the Astros were already down 3-0, with only one out in the first, the fans were beginning to have flashbacks of the previous three nights when Houston gave up nine runs or more per game. I know I was. But this night would be different. Wade Miley would get in a groove and the Astros’ bats would do the all talking.
The first inning started out a little shaky for Miley giving up a lead-off single to Mitch Garver and walking Nelson Cruz two batters later. Then up steps Eddie Rosario, he hits his 10th homer of the year to left field. Twins up 3-0 already, with only one out in the game. Here we go again.
But not tonight. After Miley gives up a double to Jonathan Schoop to lead off the second inning, he wouldn’t allow another base runner the rest of the evening. He went on to pitch five scoreless innings and accumulated nine strikeouts, in a no-decision game. That would be Miley’s 21st straight game of allowing three earned runs or less, including the entire 2018 season.
The rest of the night would be all Astros’ offense. Houston kicked it off with one run in the bottom of the third when Tyler White led it off with a walk, followed by a Max Stassi single. George Springer comes up with a single to center field, scoring White. The Astros then take the lead in the fifth when Springer doubles in Josh Reddick, and Alex Bregman singles to left scoring White and Springer. Astros up 4-3.
The Twins tied it up in the top of the seventh on a run-scoring single by Max Kepler off of Hector Rondon, who came in relief for Miley. Rondon wiggles out of the rest of the inning unscathed and ends up being credited with the win, even though he gave up the tying run.
That would be because the Astros take the lead back in the bottom of the inning scoring two runs, and they never relinquished the lead from then on. Houston padded the lead with four more runs in the eighth.
Ryan Pressly and Will Harris close out the game, each mowing down the Twins batters in 1-2-3 fashion in the eighth and ninth respectively. Pressly and Harris are now #1 and #2 in the Majors with the longest scoreless streak, Pressly with 27 2/3 innings and Harris at 21 innings.
Jose Altuve and Bregman had three RBIs apiece in the game, including Altuve’s ninth dinger of the season. Tyler White reached base in all three plate appearances making it seven straight over the last two games. In the last two nights, White has raised his batting average from .212 to .297 and his OBP from .333 to .435. Maybe that will silence his critics for a while.
Houston will try to get the series win tonight and possibly take over the AL West Division with a Seattle loss. Justin Verlander will be on the mound going up against Kohl Stewart. Verlander is 3-0 on the season with a 3.00 ERA. Stewart, a Houston native, is being recalled from the minors to make his first start of the season.