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|Posted: Wed May 29, 2019 7:41 am Post subject: mound when the Astros return home for the opener Thursday ni
|Facing a run of starting pitching that included two-time Cy Young winner Corey Kluber Rock Ya-Sin Jersey , Carlos Carrasco, Chris Sale and David Price, the Minnesota Twins could have seen their fledgling playoff hopes fade toward another long summer.
Instead, Minnesota’s been rejuvenated by beating some of the best pitching in the American League.
Robbie Grossman and Max Kepler homered to back an effective start by Lance Lynn as the Twins beat the Boston Red Sox 4-1 on Wednesday night.
Grossman led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run and Kepler added a two-run shot off Boston starter David Price (8-5). Brian Dozier added a pair of doubles to help Minnesota win for the fourth time in five games.
The Twins beat Kluber and Carrasco in taking two of three games at Cleveland before returning home and winning the first two games against the Red Sox with Sale and Price starting.
”Yeah, after the game when you acknowledge who’s on the mound,” Kepler said when asked if Minnesota can take something away from beating the recent competition. ”I feel like we go into games and we’re kind of blind to who’s on the mound and we grind together, which is awesome about this team.”
Lynn (5-5) again struggled with command, issuing five walks, but he surrendered just one unearned run and three hits in five innings.
Four relievers combined for four scoreless innings, retiring 12 of the final 13 batters, with Fernando Rodney securing his 16th save in 19 chances.
”If you can find a way to battle every at-bat, wait for something to break, try to build pitch-count when you can http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/ben-banogu-jersey-authentic , and if you’re holding them down as our starting pitching has been doing, you know you’ve got a chance late,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
The Red Sox were 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position and are 2 for 22 in the first two games of the series. They’ve stranded 18 baserunners in the two games and lost for the fourth time in five games.
”Pitching-wise, we’ve been great,” Boston manager Alex Cora said. ”I’ll take that. If we keep throwing the ball the way we’ve been throwing we’re going to win a lot of ballgames. We know the offense, you know how it is.”
Lynn has had an uncharacteristic wild season in his first year with the Twins. He walked at least five batters for the fifth time in 14 starts. But the veteran right-hander has limited the damage and allowed less than three runs in five of his last six starts.
”Command was really not there,” Lynn said. ”But I was able to make pitches with runners in scoring position and not give up a bunch of runs. With this offense we have, you keep them to one run, we’re going to win the games more times than not.”
Boston’s lone run scored in the second as Lynn couldn’t catch first baseman Logan Morrison’s high throw to first for the final out of the inning, allowing Mitch Moreland to score from second base on an error charged to Morrison.
”We’ve been through stuff like this in the past, even this year early on,” Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts said of the offense. ”The pitching has been doing great. It’s up to us now to come through.”
PAYING THE PRICE
Price was hurt by the home run but allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk. He had given up just one home run in his previous five starts and seven total in 14 starts this season coming into Wednesday.
”Not so much that he could hit it like he did, but to keep it fair Parris Campbell Jersey , that’s pretty impressive,” Price said of Kepler’s home run.
Dozier had just one extra-base hit in his previous 13 games while hitting .068. His double off the left-field wall in the eighth plated Eddie Rosario.
Kepler hit his first home run in 22 games and the fifth of his eight this season against left-handed pitching. Kepler was hitting .158 over his previous 21 games with just four RBIs.
Red Sox: LHP Drew Pomeranz is getting closer to having his first throwing session since he went on the 10-day disabled list on June 5 for left biceps tendonitis. Cora said Pomeranz was dealing with soreness in his neck but has recovered.
Twins: Molitor said OF Byron Buxton’s first rehab game in Triple-A on Tuesday went well and that his left foot with the broken toe is ”in a good place and we haven’t said that for about seven weeks or so.” There is no timetable for Buxton’s return.
Red Sox: RHP Rick Porcello (8-3, 3.70 ERA) will start the series and road trip finale on Thursday afternoon. Porcello pitched six innings and gave up four runs in a no-decision at Seattle in his last start.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-4, 3.27) counters for Minnesota. Gibson has allowed five total runs over his last four starts, spanning 26 2/3 innings.
Jose Altuve was more than due when he came to bat in the 10th inning, and got a winning rally started for the Houston Astros.
”He hadn’t gotten a hit in four at-bats,” manager A.J. Hinch said of the second basemen who led the American League in hits each of the past four seasons and is the MLB leader so far this year.
Altuve was actually in an 0-for-13 slide before his fifth at-bat Wednesday night against the Texas Rangers. His 115th hit of the season was a one-out single off Chris Martin, who then hit Yuli Gurriel with a pitch before an errant pickoff throw allowed both runners to move up. That set up Evan Gattis‘ tiebreaking sacrifice fly in a 5-4 victory.
Gurriel homered, doubled and scored twice as the Astros overcame an early four-run deficit. His fifth homer, leading off the fifth against starter Mike Minor, tied the game at 4.
Josh Reddick also went deep for the Astros, who their eighth consecutive road game against Texas and are a majors-best 32-14 on the road this season. The Astros have a 12-4 advantage in the season series between the instate division rivals that has only a three-game set remaining in Houston later this month.
Shin-Soo Choo homered and had a single to extend his on-base streak to 44 games, the longest in his career and in the majors this season. That matches Otis Nixon’s streak in 1995 for the Rangers http://www.thecoltsfootballauthentic.com/bobby-okereke-jersey-authentic , and trails only Julio Franco’s 46-gamer in 1993 for the team record.
Texas led 4-0 after Choo’s one-out solo homer started a three-run outburst in the third off starter Gerrit Cole.
Collin McHugh (4-0), who won 48 games as a starter for the Astros the past four seasons, allowed only one hit over three scoreless innings. Ken Giles worked the 10th for his 12th save in 12 chances.
”You’re talking about a 19-game winner in the big leagues. Those don’t grow on trees,” said Astros reliever Will Harris, who worked out of a jam in the sixth before McHugh took over. ”He goes out there and he knows who he is. He mixes it up, he’s a strike thrower and he’s a fearless guy out there.”
The start of the game was delayed for a few minutes after Minor had issues with the mound during warmups. The ground crew came out to work on the slippery dirt. Cole also was unhappy with the mound. Martin (1-2) slipped and fell down when throwing the pitch that hit Gurriel. The Rangers said afterward that Martin was being evaluated for a left groin issue.
”The mound early seemed to be slick,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said.
DEEP ON THE ROAD
The Astros have homered in 24 consecutive road games, three short of the MLB record set by the Oakland Athletics earlier this season. Baltimore also went deep in 24 consecutive road games in 1996.
RACKING UP K’s
Cole, who threw 108 pitches to get through five innings, struck out seven to increase his season total to 158. The only Astros pitcher with more strikeouts before the All-Star break is Mike Scott, with 167 in 22 starts in 1986. Cole has made 18 starts, with two more scheduled before the break. … In four starts against Texas this season, Cole has 40 strikeouts in 25 innings.
FAR FROM PERFECT
Minor retired the first 19 San Diego batters he faced in his previous start a week earlier. The lefty allowed four runs (three earned) on seven hits over six innings against Houston with four strikeouts and three walks.
”Probably not as sharp as he’s been Khari Willis Jersey ,” Banister said. ”Looked like they were sitting on slider.”
Astros: Hinch said C Max Stassi was feeling better than expected after getting hit by a pitch on his right (throwing) wrist in the first inning Tuesday, on the same day starting catcher Brian McCann had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Rangers: 3B Adrian Beltre, baseball’s active career hits leader (3,108), was scratched from the lineup about an hour before the game because of an infected tooth. He had a root canal and then traveled with the team to Detroit. … RHP Tony Barnette went on the 10-day disabled list. An MRI revealed a strained lat that will keep him from throwing for at least four weeks. He left Tuesday night’s game in the middle of a batter.
Astros: Justin Verlander (9-4), who has lost his last two starts, is on the mound when the Astros return home for the opener Thursday night of a four-game series against the Chicago White Sox.
Rangers: The Rangers open a 10-game, 11-day trip that will take them to the All-Star break when they play Thursday night at Detroit. Texas also plays at Boston and Baltimore before their next home game July 20.