Ervin Sanatana gets 11th win of 2017
(c) Associated Press
Joe Musgrove and the Astros dropped a 4-2 decision to the Minnesota Twins Saturday night at Minute Maid Park. Musgrove's struggles continued as the big right-hander gave up four runs on eight hits in five innings of work, suffering his eighth loss in twelve decisions and seeing his ERA hold steady just above the 6.00 mark.
Brian Dozier smacked the first pitch of the evening into the Crawford Boxes to make it 1-0 Twins before most of the 41,038 fans who braved the elements had arrived at their seats. Musgrove regrouped to retire eight of the next nine batters before running into more trouble in the middle innings.
Yuli Gurriel tied the game with a 1-out double in the second that scored Carlos Correa all the way from first. But the Astros would fail to add-on after loading the bases against Twins starter Ervin Santana.
Jose Altuve put Houston on top 2-1 with an opposite-field home run leading off the third inning.
Santana wiggled off the hook again in the fourth as the Astros were unable to push a run across the plate despite another bases loaded opportunity.
The Twins loaded the bases with no outs in the fifth but Musgrove used a double-play grounder for damage control to escape the frame with the score tied at two. Minnesota loaded the sacks with no outs again in the sixth and Musgrove was pulled in favor of Tony Sipp.
Sipp got Eddie Rosario to hit a one-hopper back to the left of the mound but the ball deflected off his glove and slowly trickled past a fallen Altuve and onto the outfield grass for what was scored as a 2-run double. Tony struck out the next two batters and, after intentionally walking Dozier, got Zack Granite to ground out and keep the score at 4-2.
The Astros loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh but were once again turned away scoreless. Correa came to the plate representing the tying run with two outs in the ninth but Brandon Kintzler notched his 25th save when Houston's cleanup hitter popped up to shallow centerfield.
It was Minnesota's first win in five games against the Astros this year. Sunday's 1:10 CDT tilt closes out the season series between the two teams as right-handers Mike Fiers and Kyle Gibson toe the rubber for their respective clubs.
- Greg Thurston