7/16: Astros Outrun Twins in Series Finale Victory

Photo Credit: Brian Curski

The Minnesota Twins fell to the Houston Astros 5-3 in the final game of the three-game-series on Sunday. It marked the 10th loss in the last 12 meetings with the Astros, who have surged to an American League best record. The Twins could not solve the Astros in a game that was filled with errors and costly mistakes leading to runs by Houston.

“They took advantage of us late and had some good baserunning to solve a couple extra runs,” Twins starting pitcher Kyle Gibson said. “We’re still confident. The one thing I take away from this series is we can play a team like this.”

The Twins raced out to a 2-1 lead after three innings because of a pair of solo home runs by Kennys Vargas and Ehire Adrianza. From then on, the Twins could not solve Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers, who took control of the game by producing a season-high 11 strikeouts. He retired 11 of his last 12 batters.

“They made some real aggressive plays — intuitive — put pressure on us and we couldn’t stop them,” Twins manager Paul Molitor told the Pioneer Press. “These guys know how to run the bases. In a tight game like that, sometimes those things can differentiate the final score.”

Nori Aoki hit a two-run double to give the Astros the lead at 3-2. Gibson threw a slider that was down the middle, and Aoki took advantage of it.

“It was just a little unfortunate,” Gibson told the Pioneer Press. “He was able to get enough barrel on it and put it where we weren’t playing. I trust our scouting guys. They do a really good job. They’re the ones who position guys.”

The Twins will need to rediscover their clutch hitting in their next homestand if they want to be successful, while the Astros took advantage of every opportunity presented to them in the series.

“There’s always a flip side to why guys do what they do,” Molitor told the Pioneer Press. “They just took advantage of plays that were in front of them, and they were able to pick up bases that led to two runs.”

The Twins will begin a three-game series with the Yankees on Monday night.

By Scott Jordahl

[Pioneer Press]

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