Houston Astros cap sweep of Minnesota Twins with 6-HR barrage

By Brian Hall, The Sports Xchange
Houston Astros' George Springer swings hitting a home run. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI
Houston Astros' George Springer swings hitting a home run. File photo by Bill Greenblatt/UPI | License Photo

MINNEAPOLIS -- After piling up a franchise record for runs in a series and finishing out a seventh straight win, Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch asked a rhetorical question to the reporters surrounding him on Wednesday.

"What's not to like?" Hinch pondered about his first-place squad.


With the way Houston finished off a series sweep against the Minnesota Twins, a suitable answer would seem to be, "Nothing."

George Springer hit two homers among four hits and the Astros hammered a season-high six home runs in a 17-6 win against Minnesota on Wednesday.

Evan Gattis had four hits, a solo homer and three RBIs. Carlos Correa had three hits, including a two-run homer in the first inning, and drove in three runs. Alex Bregman homered for the third straight day and Marwin Gonzalez also homered as Houston won for the eighth time in nine games.


The Astros scored a franchise-record 40 runs in the three-game series.

"We did a little bit of everything today," Hinch said. "I thought we controlled the strike zone, I thought we did a ton of damage, obviously, with the home runs. We just did what we do when we're at our best, which is keep coming at you every inning and putting pressure on you."

Reliever Michael Feliz (2-0) earned the win with a scoreless inning for Houston.

Twins left-hander Hector Santiago (4-5) lost his third straight game, surrendering six runs on eight hits in six innings. Minnesota lost five of six games on its homestand and is 12-18 at home this season.

"Definitely a tough series," Santiago said. "We're happy these guys are out of here. We're happy they're going somewhere else and we're going somewhere else. We're excited to be on the road. We've been playing pretty good baseball on the road, so we're looking forward to this road trip."

Springer hit his second homer of the game -- a majestic shot to the second deck in left-center field -- as the Astros scored six runs in the seventh inning after Minnesota closed to within one. It was another blow in a long series for the Twins' bullpen.


"Oh my God, I was in shock," Correa said of watching Springer's estimated 467-foot homer. "I've never seen a ball hit that hard before live in my life. It was not really where it landed, it was just the way it sounded the way it came off the bat. It just sky-rocketed off the bat."

Minnesota relievers allowed 28 runs (27 earned) in nine innings in the three games.

"You know, there are times along the way where you're going to push the right buttons and times you're going to push the wrong buttons," Twins manager Paul Molitor said. "I hit a lot of wrong buttons here, at least in terms of how things ended up."

Minnesota entered the series following a deflating 15-inning loss to Tampa Bay on Sunday in which the Twins blew through all of their relievers and were forced to have Santiago pitch the final inning. Houston's relentless offense added to the misery.

Pitching for the fifth time in eight days, Ryan Pressly started the seventh and allowed Springer's homer and a walk to Jose Altuve. Tyler Duffey entered and gave up four runs on four hits while not recording an out.


"It's been special," Springer said. "The quality at-bat after quality at-bat in a row is something that I haven't seen before. Hopefully we can keep this up."

Pressly was optioned to Triple-A after the game and left-hander Jason Wheeler was designated for assignment. The Twins will add two pitchers before Thursday's game.

NOTES: Minnesota 3B Miguel Sano was out of the lineup for the second straight day with an illness. It's just the third game Sano has missed all season. ... Houston recalled LHP Reymin Guduan from Triple-A Fresno before the game. Guduan, a reliever at Triple-A, made his major league debut with two innings pitched. He gave up one run on two hits and two walks, while striking out three. ... Twins chief baseball officer Derek Falvey spoke with reporters before the game and said the team has narrowed down to "five or six" players for the top pick in this year's draft. ... The Astros' road trip continues Friday at Texas. Houston will have LHP Dallas Keuchel (8-0, 1.81 ERA) on the mound against Rangers RHP Yu Darvish (5-3, 2.97). ... Minnesota starts a 10-game West Coast trip at the Los Angeles Angels on Thursday. Rookie LHP Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.64) starts for the Twins.


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