Berrios struggles as Twins drop first game of second half
HOUSTON — After cranking out 19 runs in Toronto on Sunday, the Houston Astros’ bats stayed hot all the way through the All-Star break.
Brian McCann hit a three-run home run to cap an eight-run second inning, Marwin Gonzalez had a solo homer and the Astros opened the second half of the season with a 10-5 win over the Minnesota Twins.
Gonzalez, Alex Bregman, George Springer, Josh Reddick and Carlos Correa each had a RBI to chase starter Jose Berrios (8-3).
“That inning just continued to go, and it’s one of the things I love the most about our team,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “We just keep coming at you. . . . When we put at-bats like that together in a row, we’re pretty dangerous.”
McCann, who struck out to start the second inning, greeted Phil Hughes with his homer.
“We have been swinging the bats from Day One,” McCann said. “Our lineup is deep, and as a pitcher, you have to make pitches. We don’t go out of the strike zone. We put together professional at-bats.”
The Astros have scored eight or more runs in an inning four times this season, including twice against the Twins after scoring 11 runs in the eighth on May 29 in Minnesota.
Gonzalez finished with three hits and two RBI. He smacked his solo shot in the third before Reddick hit a RBI single as the Astros built a 10-1 lead. Every Astros hitter had at least one hit.
Charlie Morton (7-3) allowed five runs — four earned — and three hits with 10 strikeouts and a career-high tying five walks in five innings.
“It was kind of a weird outing because I felt like my stuff was good,” Morton said. “I made a bunch of good pitches, but at the same time, there were some pitches right there that weren’t executed.”
Berrios allowed a career-high tying seven runs — two earned — and four hits in a season-low 1 2/3 innings.
“It just seemed from the get-go for whatever reason he looked uncomfortable,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said. “He had trouble getting settled in.”
Berrios has allowed at least four runs in his last four starts.
“I don’t know if I can say I didn’t feel comfortable,” Berrios said through a translator. “I’m not going to use that as an excuse. . . . It was just one of those days where it didn’t go my way.”
Brian Dozier hit his 21st career leadoff homer, setting a franchise record. Dozier hit a bases-clearing double in the fourth, and Jorge Polanco had a sacrifice fly in the fifth.
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer (back) worked out prior to Friday’s game and participated in batting practice. “I’d be surprised if he’s not ready to be active tomorrow,” Molitor said. . . . OF Byron Buxton left the game in the sixth with left groin soreness. He was listed as day to day. . . . 1B Kennys Vargas was pulled in the seventh with a left foot contusion.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (neck) threw a bullpen Thursday and will likely go on a rehab assignment soon, Hinch said. “We need to identify what that means and how he feels and whether it’s multiple (rehab assignments) or not,” Hinch said. . . . RHP Collin McHugh (right elbow) will make a fourth rehab assignment Sunday at Double-A Corpus Christi, with the plan for him to go five or six innings and throw over 90 pitches. . . . RHP Will Harris was placed on the 10-day disabled list with right shoulder inflammation, retroactive to July 11.
PAUL THROWS FIRST PITCH
New Houston Rockets guard Chris Paul threw out the ceremonial first pitch prior to Friday’s game. Paul, who was joined by his son and daughter, threw the pitch to Keuchel, then walked over to the Astros dugout where Jose Altuve shook his hand.
COLON DEBUTS IN TRIPLE-A
RHP Bartolo Colon debuted at Triple-A Rochester on Thursday night, picking up the loss after allowing four runs in 3 2/3 innings. Colon, who was released by Atlanta at the end of June after going 2-8 with an 8.14 ERA, signed a minor league deal with the Twins last week. Molitor said he hopes to have a decision on Colon in the next 24-48 hours.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana (10-6) will start his 19th game of the season Saturday. Santana threw a complete game in his last outing but suffered the loss, while allowing two runs.
Astros: RHP Joe Musgrove (4-7) will start his 15th game of the season looking to rebound after allowing four runs in 5 2/3 innings in his last start.