Josh Donaldson delivered an RBI single in the 11th inning and the visiting Minnesota Twins rallied from a three-run deficit to defeat the Houston Astros 5-4 on Friday.
Facing Astros right-hander Rafael Montero (5-4), Donaldson slapped a single the opposite way to right field leading off the top of the 11th to drive home Jorge Polanco, who opened the frame on second base.
Twins right-hander Juan Minaya (2-0), who fanned Aledmys Diaz with two runners on to preserve a 4-all tie in the 10th, returned and worked a scoreless 11th.
The Astros received home runs from Taylor Jones and Chas McCormick, and exceptional relief work from right-handers Ryne Stanek, Kendall Graveman and Ryan Pressly, who combined for three hitless innings and five strikeouts. Still, Houston lost for the fifth time in six games.
The Twins’ rally from a 3-0 deficit started when Mitch Garver slugged his 13th home run to lead off the fifth inning. Astros right-hander Zack Greinke had faced just two batters over the minimum through four innings and retired 12 of 13 batters after Kepler led off the game with a single to center.
But after Garver’s homer, Greinke surrendered back-to-back singles to Miguel Sano and Rob Refsnyder, with Sano later scoring on Kepler fielder’s choice grounder.
Minnesota pulled even an inning later when Polanco opened the sixth with a double to right and scored two batters later when Luis Arraez singled to left.
Greinke allowed three runs on six hits and one walk with three strikeouts over six innings.
In the bottom of the second, Jones homered on the first pitch of his first at-bat following his recall from Triple-A Sugar Land. The 361-foot shot the opposite way to right followed a two-out double from McCormick.
McCormick added his 11th homer of the season, a solo shot, in the fourth to extend Houston’s lead to 3-0 in the fourth.
Twins rookie right-hander Bailey Ober worked five innings, and the Astros managed a baserunner in all five. But Ober managed to strand runners in the first, third, fourth and fifth, with only Michael Brantley left in scoring position at second base in the third.
Ober allowed three runs on seven hits and one walk with five strikeouts.
–Field Level Media