Sports

Defense leads Twins to 4-2 victory over Houston Astros

A home run is how each game started but for Twins momentum kept rolling in game two.

Minnesota Twins (46-44) rebound from 10-5 loss after All-Star break to win 4-2 over American League’s best team in Houston Astros (61-30), Saturday. Brian Dozier hit his 21st career lead off home run Friday, which broke Jacque Jones franchise record for most lead off homers in Twins history. Twins lead didn’t last long as Astros scored eight runs in the second inning and added two more in the third, 10-1. Right off the first pitch in game two Dozier hit his 22nd career lead off home run Saturday and this time, with Ervin Santana on the mound, the momentum carried.

Brian Dozier fielding against the Houston Astros May 31, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis (photo: Gino Terrell).

Brian Dozier fielding against the Houston Astros May 31, 2017, at Target Field in Minneapolis (photo: Gino Terrell).

 

“Homers don’t mean much, we just like to win ball games,” Dozier told Fox Sports North Saturday. “Obviously, the percentages say who ever scores first is more likely to win the game, so I like that.”

Santana held Astros to two runs and in the fifth inning the Twins had a chance to break the game open with no outs, bases loaded and within one run from tying. A double play ground out hit by Granite cost the Twins an opportunity to take the lead but Jorge Polanco scored from third to tie the game at two.

All-Star Miguel Sano would carry the fifth inning’s momentum leading off the sixth with a walk. Max Kepler followed with a single line drive to center field and Robbie Grossman continued to move the line with a single of his own. After a mound visit, Eddie Rosario would break the tie with a 2 RBI double scoring Sano and Kepler, 4-2.

Defense held up and Brandon Kintzler came in to complete his 25th save of the season. Santana picked up the win to improve his record to 11-6 striking out three batters in six innings. Twins finally defeated the Astros this season after losing the first five meetings in which they got outscored 50-21.

“We know they’re a good team but Ervin did a great job with silencing that,” Dozier told Fox Sports North postgame Saturday.

While Twins came away with a victory, Manager Paul Molitor will have to evaluate his decision to place rookie Granite second in the lineup. Granite went 0-5 and twice he was on with bases loaded. Lucky for Granite, Twins managed to shutdown the best offense in baseball and were able to live with seven LOB’s during Granite’s at bats. Granite is currently batting .077.

Twins will face the Astros tomorrow to decide the series. In other news, Twins announced they will start their new 44-year-old pitcher and 2005 Cy Young Award winning pitcher Bartolo Colón against the New York Yankees Tuesday home at Target Field.

Watch Miguel Sano start a triple play earlier this season.

Gino Terrell

Gino Terrell

Gino Terrell covered local artists and reviewed mainstream shows in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area under the Twin Cities Daily Planet (2014-15). He also freelanced for MinnPost and interned at Pioneer Press (St. Paul, MN no. 1 newspaper), KSTP TV (the Minneapolis ABC News Affiliate) and American Public Media Group. He's accumulated over 30 awards from the Associated Collegiate Press, Society of Professional Journalists and National Association of Black Journalists (most notable: NABJ Student Journalist of the Year) and founded award winning student-magazine Pipers In-Depth at Hamline University (St. Paul) where he graduated Spring 2016. He was once the sports editor for The Oracle. Follow him on Twitter: @Gin026