American League Game Summary - Minnesota at Houston
(Wednesday, September 4th)
Final Score: Houston 6, Minnesota 5
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - Trevor Crowe doubled home Jonathan Villar with the winning run in the bottom of the ninth as Houston topped Minnesota, 6-5, in the finale of a three-game series.
Villar hit a leadoff single against Brian Duensing (6-2), and was sacrificed to second by Jose Altuve before scoring when Crowe's hit to left rolled deep enough to plate the speedy Villar and end the contest.
"That's how you play winning baseball," Astros manager Bo Porter said, referencing the fundamentals that resulted in the winning run.
That made a winner of Erik Bedard (4-10), who allowed three hits -- including the game-tying homer to Ryan Doumit in the top of the ninth -- and two runs over 2 2/3 relief innings.
Crowe and Brandon Barnes each drove in two runs for the Astros, who salvaged a game in the set and won for the third time in their last 10 contests. Villar, Altuve, Brett Wallace and Chris Carter all finished with two hits for the victors.
Jordan Lyles worked the first 6 1/3 innings, giving up four hits and three runs with four strikeouts.
Alex Presley went 2-for-4 including an early three-run homer for the Twins, who had won four of five. Darin Mastroianni added an RBI in defeat.
Liam Hendriks lasted only 4 1/3 frames, charged with eight hits and five runs -- three earned.
"Today was just embarrassing. I got behind guys. I left balls up in the zone," lamented Hendriks. "Whenever I was ahead, I was OK, but the rest of the time, they made me pay for it."
The Astros scored three times in their first turn against Hendriks, on an RBI double from Wallace, a run-scoring hit by Marc Krauss and a Barnes sac fly to right.
The Twins countered in the third, when Chris Colabello singled to start, Chris Herrmann walked and Presley reached the seats in right for his first homer with Minnesota and a 3-3 tie.
Crowe's two-out base hit in the fourth brought in Altuve with the go-ahead run, and it was a 5-3 margin for the hosts in the fifth as Barnes plated Carter with a one-out base hit.
Minnesota got back within a run in the eighth, as Pedro Florimon stroked a leadoff double, moved up on a groundout and scored on a Mastroianni grounder.
Doumit began the ninth with a shot to left for a 5-5 deadlock, and though the visitors had runners on first and second later in the frame, they couldn't forge ahead.
"Baseball is a game of momentum and you have to stay after it day after day things can work against you," said Crowe. "We have to battle for all 27 outs because we don't have the talent up and down the lineup that is going to hit 30 homers."
Houston's one through five hitters finished a combined 10-for-21 with three RBI and six runs scored ... Krauss had been recalled from Triple-A Oklahoma City prior to the contest ... Prior to Wednesday, the Twins had beaten the Astros five straight times this season and in seven of the last nine meetings dating back to June of 2006 ... The Astros head to Oakland on Thursday, while the Twins are back in action on Friday to kick off a 10-game homestand against Toronto.