MLB: Hughes falters early, Astros blow doors off Twins
HOUSTON -- Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa both finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle while Jason Castro continued to provide production from the bottom of the order, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Wednesday nigh...
HOUSTON - Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa both finished a triple short of hitting for the cycle while Jason Castro continued to provide production from the bottom of the order, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 16-4 on Wednesday night at Minute Maid Park.
The Astros (10-18) won consecutive games for the first time this season behind an unrelenting offensive attack. Altuve finished 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs while Correa produced the exact same line: 3-for-5 with three runs scored and three RBIs batting third.
Sandwiched in between Altuve and Correa, right fielder George Springer went 1-for-4 with a walk and a double. Castro extended his hitting streak to six games going 2-for-3 with two walks and four RBIs.
The Twins (8-20) fell to 2-12 on the road with right-hander Phil Hughes earning an early shower. Hughes surrendered six runs on six hits and two walks while lasting just two innings. In producing a season-high run total, the Astros posted eight extra-base hits and seven walks.
Altuve began the onslaught with his first plate appearance, socking his fifth leadoff home run this season to move within one of the club record set by Craig Biggio in 2006. Springer and Correa followed in tandem, with Correa adding an RBI double that followed a Springer walk.
Houston matched its three-run first inning in the second, with Springer adding a two-run double in advance of Colby Rasmus’ RBI single. It was Rasmus who lifted the Astros to a 3-0 lead with his run-scoring groundout off Hughes (1-5) in the bottom of the first inning.
Hughes wasn’t around when Castro smacked a two-run, opposite-field homer off Twins right-hander Casey Fien in the third. Correa added the second homer off Fien an inning later, his solo shot to right marking his fourth on the year and first since the opening series against the Yankees.
Oddly, Astros right-hander Mike Fiers struggled despite the run support. He surrendered a three-run home run to Twins second baseman Brian Dozier in the third inning and a run-scoring groundout to Danny Santana in the fourth. With the Astros leading 9-4, Fiers walked Byung Ho Park with two outs, prompting an early exit.
NOTES: Astros manager A.J. Hinch announced that LF Colby Rasmus would be out of the lineup Thursday night for the opener of the series against the Mariners. Rasmus, the American League Player of the Week for April 18-24, entered the series finale against the Twins in an 0-for-11 skid. ... With RHP Ervin Santana set to rejoin the Minnesota rotation after a stint on the 15-day disabled list (lower back strain), Minnesota manager Paul Molitor announced his rotation for the weekend series against the White Sox. Santana (0-1, 3.15 ERA) will start the middle game Saturday, flanked by RHP Ricky Nolasco on Friday night and RHP Tyler Duffy in the series finale on Sunday. ... Astros RHP Collin McHugh picked up his 33rd victory in the last three seasons on Wednesday night. Since Aug. 1, 2014, McHugh is 29-10 and ranks second only to Cubs RHP Jake Arrieta (32-9) in wins during that span.