Astros use 12-hit attack to overpower Twins
HOUSTON — Chris Carter belted two home runs to spark a power surge and pace the Houston Astros to a 10-4 win over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros (50-70) bashed three home runs in support of right-hander Collin McHugh, who limited the Twins (53-65) to one run on four hits with three strikeouts over six innings.
Astros center fielder Jake Marisnick hit his first homer of the season, and second baseman Jose Altuve went 3-for-5 for his 51st multi-hit game.
Houston clustered its offense at the top and bottom of its order, with the top three hitters in the lineup — right fielder Robbie Grossman, Altuve and Carter — combining to score five runs while the eighth- and ninth-place hitters, Marisnick and shortstop Marwin Gonzalez, finished a combined 4-for-8 with two RBIs and four runs.
Twins right fielder Oswaldo Arcia homered in his first at-bat and in his last, recording his first multi-home run game of the season.
The most decisive swing in momentum followed a non-decision by Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, who opted to allow right-hander Yohan Pino to remain in the game after Pino surrendered three successive one-out singles in the fifth with the Astros having already scored in that frame.
Pino threw one more pitch following a mound visit, and the result was the same as the previous time he faced Carter, when the designated hitter’s two-run home run capped the Astros’ three-run third inning.
Carter bashed the last Pino offering of the game into the left field seats, extending the Astros’ lead to 7-1 and sending the Twins to their bullpen. The multi-homer game was the sixth on the season for Carter, the most by a Houston player since Lance Berkman also had six in 2006.
Pino (1-5) gave up seven runs on seven hits in 4 1/3 innings.
Before the Astros turned on the power, the Twins led briefly after Arcia cracked a solo homer, his ninth, off Astros right-hander Collin McHugh with two outs in the second inning.
McHugh settled into a groove almost immediately, retiring nine consecutive batters while the Astros rallied on his behalf in the third, starting with Marisnick’s game-tying, leadoff homer to left.
McHugh (5-9) limited the Twins to one run on four hits in six innings.
NOTES: The Astros shut down OF George Springer for two weeks as part of his ongoing battle with a left quad strain that landed him on the 15-day disabled list July 20. Springer was pulled from his rehab assignment last Wednesday, and following rounds of weekend treatment in Houston, the determination was made that Springer needs additional rest. ... Twins RHP Ricky Nolasco is poised for reinstatement from the 15-day disabled list, and he could start Friday against the Kansas City Royals at Target Field. Nolasco, sidelined since early July due to right elbow soreness, made his last rehab start Sunday for Class A Cedar Rapids. ... Astros CF Dexter Fowler (strained right intercostal) will be reinstated from the 15-day DL on Wednesday and will be in the starting lineup against the Twins. Fowler went 3-for-10 during his four-game rehab assignment with Triple-A Oklahoma City.