Correa helped open the scoring for the Astros with a two-run homer off Hector Santiago in the first before singling home a run in the third. But it was Springer’s power that wowed, as he slammed a solo shot in the fifth off Santiago and a solo blast in the seventh off reliever Ryan Pressly. Springer’s first homer left the bat at 114.2 mph, going a projected 381 feet, while his second had an exit velocity of 112.6 mph and went a projected 473 feet. That homer was the farthest by an Astros player this year, per Statcast™, and second-longest in baseball in 2017 behind Jake Lamb‘s 481-foot blast.
HOU@MIN: Springer launches his second HR of the day
George Springer cranks a long solo home run into the upper deck in left-center field, his second homer of the game, padding the Astros’ lead
The Twins, though, made it a one-run game with a two-run homer by former Astros catcher Jason Castro as part of a three-run sixth. But Houston got to Minnesota’s beleaguered bullpen, scoring six runs in the seventh to put the game away.
Right-hander David Paulino, ranked as the Astros’ No. 3 prospect and the No. 48 overall prospect by MLBPipeline.com, made his first start of the year, but was stuck with a no-decision, allowing two runs on five hits over four innings with eight strikeouts. Santiago took the loss, surrendering six runs on eight hits, including three homers, over six innings. Alex Bregman was the third to homer off Santiago with a solo shot in the sixth, giving Bregman a homer in three straight games.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Springer dinger extends lead: After the Twins cut it to 7-6 following Castro’s two-run homer off lefty Tony Sipp, Springer gave the Astros an insurance run with his mammoth blast off Pressly. It helped spark a six-run rally that saw Gattis, Yuli Gurriel and Alex Bregman come through with RBI hits, while Norichika Aoki added a sacrifice fly. Pressly was charged with two runs without getting an out, while Tyler Duffey gave up four runs without recording an out.
Astros string together hits: While Houston’s power was on display with six homers, it was four straight singles in the third that helped them open a 4-0 lead that set the tone for the rest of the game. Springer, Altuve, Correa and Gattis all singled off Santiago, bringing home two runs with right fielder Max Kepler saving the Twins from allowing another run by throwing out Correa at home as he tried to tag up on a fly ball to end the inning.
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Springer’s homer was the second-longest at Target Field in the Statcast™ era since 2015, trailing Nelson Cruz‘s 493-foot homer on Sept. 24, 2016. Springer’s previous long was 455 feet on May 11, 2016, while the longest by an Astros in the Statcast™ era before Springer’s 473-foot drive was 469 feet by Correa on Sept. 12, 2015.
GIMENEZ PITCHES THE NINTH
With the Twins trailing by nine runs, catcher Chris Gimenez made his third relief appearance of the season in the ninth. He entered with a 0.00 ERA, but served up a two-run homer to Marwin Gonzalez.
Astros:After taking Thursday off, the Astros will open a three-game series against the Rangers at 7:05 p.m. CT Friday in Arlington. Lefty Dallas Keuchel (8-0, 1.81 ERA) will get the start against Rangers ace Yu Darvish (5-3, 2.97 ERA).
Twins: The Twins begin a 10-game West Coast road trip on Thursday, when they face the Angels at 9:07 p.m. CT. Rookie left-hander Adalberto Mejia (1-1, 4.64 ERA) is set to start, and allowed two runs in five innings against the Rays on Saturday.
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