Hughes chased after two innings, Twins routed by Astros

May 4, 2016

HOUSTON -- The Minnesota Twins were feeling good after getting just their second road win of the season in the opener against the Astros on Monday.

Things didn't go so well after that and the Twins left Houston with two tough losses.

Jason Castro homered and drove in four runs, and Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa both homered and knocked in three as the Astros won consecutive games for the first time this season with a 16-4 victory over the Twins on Wednesday night.

The Astros built a 6-0 lead after two innings and didn't let up in setting a season high for runs. Altuve hit his fifth leadoff homer this year, Castro connected for the second straight game with his two-run shot in the third, and Correa's first home run since April 6 came in the fourth.


Minnesota right-hander Phil Hughes (1-5) allowed six hits and a season-high six runs in two innings, his shortest start since also lasting two innings on Sept. 25, 2013. It was the third straight loss for Hughes and the second consecutive game in which he's given up three runs in the first inning.

His performance came a day after Alex Meyer lasted only 2 2/3 innings in a 6-4 loss.

"It's disappointing like a lot of our series have been," manager Paul Molitor said. "You win the first game, and then, you go back-to-back games, getting (14) outs out of your starter. It puts a lot of stress on our bullpen."

Hughes was disappointed he wasn't able to do more on Wednesday night.

"I've had a lot of bad games in my career, a lot of bad starts, and in those situations where you don't even give your guys a chance out of the gate, you at least want to eat some innings for the bullpen," he said. "I couldn't do that tonight. It's an all-around frustrating game."

Houston starter Mike Fiers yielded nine hits and four runs in 4 2/3 innings. Scott Feldman (1-2) got the win after throwing two perfect innings.

Altuve and Carlos Gomez each hit a two-run double in a five-run fifth inning that made it 14-4. Castro drove in two more with a double in the eighth to tie a career high for RBIs.

Molitor and reliever Ryan Pressly were ejected in the eighth inning after the double by Castro.

"When I walked out, I didn't see Ryan walking off, but I guess he got tossed," Molitor said. "I knew there was already a bit of angst in there, so I went and had a conversation and followed Ryan up to the clubhouse."

Altuve's leadoff homer gave Houston a 1-0 lead. Correa, who finished with three hits, added an RBI double and reached third on the throw before scoring on a groundout by Colby Rasmus that made it 3-0.

George Springer hit a two-run double with one out in the second and Rasmus snapped an 0-for-13 skid with his run-scoring single with two outs to push the lead to 6-0.

The Twins made up half the deficit on one swing when Brian Dozier hit a three-run homer into the seats in left field with no outs in the third.

Joe Mauer singled for Minnesota's fourth straight hit, but Fiers settled down after that to retire the next three and limit the damage. Mauer has reached safely in each of his 28 games, the second-longest streak to start a season in Twins history and the longest in the majors this year.


Astros: RHP Lance McCullers (right shoulder soreness) threw 40 pitches in a bullpen session and is expected to make a rehabilitation start Saturday for Triple-A Fresno at El Paso. ... C Max Stassi (left wrist surgery) began a rehab assignment Tuesday with Fresno and is expected to catch McCullers on Saturday.


Twins: Ricky Nolasco (1-0, 4.05 ERA) looks to bounce back when he starts the opener of a three-game series against the Chicago White Sox on Friday after an off day Thursday. Nolasco did not factor in the decision after allowing a season-high five runs with eight hits in 5 2/3 innings of a 6-5 loss to Detroit in his last start.