Porter on Grossman, Villar
Brandon Barnes hit a dramatic three-run home run with two outs and two strikes in the ninth inning to send the game into extra innings, but the Astros couldn’t capitalize on the momentum, falling 9-6 to the Twins in 12 innings on Tuesday at Minute Maid Park. The Twins scored three runs in the 12th inning. Matt Pagnozzi, who was acquired earlier in the day in a trade, grounded out to end the game with two runners on base. The Astros, who got five RBIs from Barnes and Chris Carter’s 27th home run, have dropped the first two games of the three-game series, which concludes on Wednesday afternoon.
Jarred Cosart, who came into the game with a 1.59 ERA, allowed four runs- two home runs – and five hits in only four innings. It’s the first game since his call-up that the rookie right-hander has struggled. He needed 90 pitches, 50 for strikes, to get through four innings. Cosart, who gave up two home runs in the first three innings as he fell behind 4-1, struck out five and walked three.
Aside from a Carter home run, Pedro Hernandez was pretty efficient against the Astros, limiting them to two runs in six-plus innings. Hernandez, who threw only 70 pitches, left the game with the Twins leading 4-1. The left-hander gave up six hits and no walks with three strikeouts.
Kevin Chapman (0-1) allowed three earned runs in the 12th as his franchise record for not allowing an earned run in his first 13 major league appearances ended at 13. Josh Zeid pitched three scoreless innings from the ninth to the 11th for the Astros. It was an encouraging outing by Lucas Harrell, who did not allow a run in three innings, keeping the Astros in the game. In one inning Jorge De Leon allowed two runs in Minnesota’s two-run eighth inning.
Glen Perkins was set to get the save, but instead allowed Barnes’ seventh home run of the season, an opposite-field liner to right field. Caleb Thielbar (3-2) got the win and Josh Roenicke got his first save.
AT THE PLATE
Barnes’ game-tying three-run homer with two outs on a 0-2 count in the ninth inning was his third hit of the game and his fifth RBI. Carter’s 27th home run to left field to lead field cut Minnesota’s lead to 2-1. Barnes’ two-out two-RBI single in the seventh scored Trevor Crowe and Brett Wallace to trim Minnesota’s lead to 4-3. Crowe and Robbie Grossman each had two hits for the Astros.
Brian Dozier and Trevor Plouffe, who both homered in Monday’s game, homered on Tuesday off Cosart. Plouffe had four hits as did Josmil Pinto. Darin Mastroianni had three hits and three RBIs, including a two-run double in Minnesota’s three-run 12th inning.
IN THE FIELD
Marwin Gonzalez replaced Jonathan Villar at shortstop to start the fourth inning. Villar singled to center to lead off the Houston third but was easily thrown out at second base trying to stretch the single into a double. Gonzalez made a couple fine defensive plays including starting a 6-4-3 double play to end the sixth inning. Zeid, while stumbling, tossed the ball with his glove to first baseman Carter to get the second out of the 10th inning.
After making a great leaping catch in the left-field power alley to rob Jose Altuve of a hit, Minnesota left fielder Mastroianni broke his belt on the play and exchanged belts with a Twins reliever following the catch.
ON THE BASES
With Cody Clark at-bat and two outs in seventh, trailing 4-3, the Astros ran themselves into an out with Barnes getting thrown out at the plate with Gonzalez caught between first and second base. Gonzalez broke for second base and left-handed reliever Brian Duensing stepped off the rubber and had Gonzalez in a rundown. Barnes then broke for the plate and was thrown out at home on a throw from first baseman Chris Colabello to catcher Pinto, who applied the tag on Barnes.
The three-game series concludes on Wednesday afternoon at 1:10 p.m. with RHP Jordan Lyles (6-7, 5.12 ERA) starting for Houston vs. RHP Liam Hendriks (1-2, 5.13 ERA).
The Astros start a four-game series at Oakland starting on Thursday. The rotation is Thursday: RHP Brad Peacock (3-5, 5.98 ERA) of Houston vs. RHP Sonny Gray (2-2, 2.57 ERA), Friday: LHP Dallas Keuchel (5-8, 4.77) of Houston vs. RHP A.J. Griffin (12-9, 3.84 ERA), Saturday: LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-1, 2.79 ERA) of Houston vs. RHP Dan Straily (8-7, 4.38 ERA), Sunday: RHP Paul Clemens (4-4, 5.91 ERA) of Houston vs. RHP Bartolo Colon.