Rosario’s 2-run double helps Twins past Astros 4-2
By Kristie Rieken
AP Sports Writer
HOUSTON (AP) — Brian Dozier homered and Eddie Rosario’s two-run double in the sixth inning lifted the Minnesota Twins to a 4-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Saturday night.
The game was tied entering the sixth when a walk by Miguel Sano and consecutive singles by Max Kepler and Robbie Grossman loaded the bases with no outs in the inning to chase Joe Musgrove (4-8). He was replaced by Tony Sipp, who was greeted with the double by Rosario that put Minnesota up 4-2. That ball was deflected by Sipp and rolled just out of reach of a diving Jose Altuve and into shallow right field.
Ervin Santana (11-6) allowed five hits and two runs in six innings for the win and Brandon Kintzler pitched a scoreless ninth for his 25th save.
Musgrove yielded eight hits and four runs in five-plus innings for his fourth straight loss.
The victory snaps a three-game skid for the Twins and ends a seven-game losing streak to the Astros.
Altuve hit a solo homer and Yuli Gurriel had two hits and an RBI for the Astros, who went 1 for 9 with runners in scoring position a night after using an eight-run second inning to get a 10-5 win in the series opener.
A night after setting the franchise record for career leadoff homers, Dozier connected on the game’s first pitch to give him leadoff homers in consecutive games for the second time in his career. He has 22 in his career and three this season.
Carlos Correa walked to start the second and the Astros tied it 1-1 when he scored on a one-out double by Gurriel. Marwin Gonzalez walked after that before Alex Bregman drew a walk with two outs to load the bases. But Santana retired George Springer to escape the jam.
The Astros took a 2-1 lead when Altuve sent fastball into the bullpen in right-center with no outs in the third for his 14th homer.
Jorge Polanco singled to start the fifth before a walk by Jason Castro. Dozier singled to load the bases before Zack Granite grounded into a double play that allowed Polanco to score and make it 2-2.
Houston loaded the bases with two outs in the seventh, but Gurriel grounded into a force out to leave everyone stranded.
Twins: 1B Joe Mauer was activated from the DL on Saturday after missing six games with a lower back strain. … CF Byron Buxton was placed on the 10-day DL with a strained left groin after he was injured Friday night.
Astros: Injured ace Dallas Keuchel is scheduled to begin a rehabilitation assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday. Keuchel hasn’t pitched since June 2 because of a pinched nerve in his neck. The lefty will likely need multiple starts in the minors before he comes off the DL, but the Astros haven’t yet determined exactly how many he will need. He’s expected to throw two innings on Monday.
Twins: Kyle Gibson (5-7, 6.31 ERA) will start for Minnesota in the finale on Sunday. He’ll look to rebound after allowing nine hits and seven runs in four innings of an 11-5 loss to Baltimore in his last start.
Astros: Mike Fiers (5-4, 3.84 ERA) is scheduled to start for Houston on Sunday. Fiers allowed five hits and three runs in six innings while tying a season-high with four walks in a 7-2 loss to Toronto in his last start.