Astros offense comes alive in doubleheader sweep of Twins
Houston Astros' Jose Altuve, left, and George Springer head to the dugout after scoring in the first inning of a baseball game against the Minnesota Twins Thursday, Aug. 11, 2016 in Minneapolis. (AP Photo/Jim Mone)
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) The Houston Astros found their offense against the Minnesota Twins.
Evan Gattis homered and had four RBIs, Carlos Correa went deep for the third straight game and Houston beat Minnesota 10-2 on Thursday night to sweep a doubleheader.
Houston had 16 hits in the nightcap, three fewer than it had in a 15-7 win during the day. The 35 combined hits and 25 runs rank second in franchise doubleheader history.
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The doubleheader was necessitated by a rainout Wednesday, a game Minnesota led 5-0 in the third before storms arrived.
''We had one continual day of offense that didn't stop,'' manager A.J. Hinch said. ''It was a fun day; a long day, pretty exhausting, but to walk out of here with two wins after being down by a lot of runs in the rain is a pretty good feeling.''
Jose Altuve had four hits in the first game and was 1 for 4 in the nightcap. He leads the majors with a .365 batting average and has reached base in 41 straight road games.
Chris Devenski (1-4), who had 21 straight relief appearances after making four early season starts, allowed two hits and struck out five during five strong innings for his first major league victory.
''It's exciting,'' he said. ''It was fun. More to come now.''
Minnesota's Miguel Sano had two hits, including an RBI double.
For the better part of two weeks, Houston's offense was lacking. Before scoring seven runs in a win Tuesday, Houston scored 18 runs in its previous 10 games, winning just twice.
''This is a long year and you're going to have stuff like that, and we were able to swing ourselves out of it today,'' said George Springer, who had five hits in the two games, including a home run.
Tommy Milone (3-4) breezed through the first inning before Gattis hit a three-run homer in the second and Springer added an RBI single for a 4-0 lead.
Milone experienced soreness in his shoulder and bicep and said he is ''not 100 percent.'' He will get an MRI on Friday.
Correa launched a 445-foot drive to the second deck in right-center to make it 5-0 in the third.
''It's been crazy, feast or famine right now for us,'' Gattis said.
Andrew Albers, called up to be the Twins' 26th player, made his first appearance since May 1, 2015 with Toronto and pitched the final six innings. He gave up five runs, including two runs in each of his first two innings.
Albers threw 108 pitches, tying the team record for most by a reliever in one outing – Oscar Munoz did the same on Aug. 21, 1995.
''What he did, you can't underscore enough,'' manager Paul Molitor said. ''He came out and got banged around the first couple innings and ended up throwing 108 pitches.''
Minnesota has an AL-worst 4.97 ERA and used four relievers in the first game before shortstop Eduardo Escobar got the final three outs.
That's because Jose Berrios (2-3) was ineffective for the third straight start, lasting just two innings and giving up six runs and eight hits. Since his Aug. 1 recall from Triple-A, he has allowed 12 earned runs in 13 innings.
In seven starts this season, the righty has a 9.32 ERA over 28 innings, permitting 39 hits and 14 walks.
Doug Fister (11-7) allowed eight hits and five earned runs in seven-plus innings to earn the Game 1 win.
This was Houston's 255th doubleheader, but first against an American League team. The Astros were in the National League from 1962-2012.
LOTS OF ARMS
Escobar and Albers became the 25th and 26th players to pitch for the Twins this season, a franchise record. The old record was 25 in 2012.
Astros: Hinch said RHP Luke Gregerson ''felt fine'' after an aggressive bullpen session Wednesday. Out with a strained left oblique muscle, Gregerson is eligible to come off the DL Friday. . RHP Ken Giles is going on paternity leave and will not travel to Toronto with the team.
Twins: After allowing six runs in the first game, LHP Buddy Boshers was placed on the disabled list with left elbow inflammation. An MRI is planned for Friday.
Astros: Joe Musgrove (0-0, 0.79) is scheduled to make his second career start Friday in the opener of a three-game series in Toronto against the Blue Jays' Francisco Liriano (6-11, 5.34).
Twins: Minnesota is scheduled to send Kyle Gibson (4-6, 4.86) to the hill Friday as it welcomes Kansas City for a three-game set. The Royals plan to counter with Yordano Ventura (7-9, 4.64).