Beltran, Astros stay hot through delay to blast Twins
MINNEAPOLIS — When rain interrupted the Astros’ big eighth inning on Monday, Houston players and coaches were visibly irate after umpires called for the tarp to be placed over the Target Field infield.
The moderate precipitation was less severe than what the teams played through two innings earlier, and Houston was staging a big comeback against the Minnesota Twins.
But not even rain and a questionable delay can slow the Astros right now.
Carlos Beltran had four hits and capped an 11-run eighth with a three-run homer as Houston rallied for a 16-8 victory over Minnesota in a matchup of first-place teams.
“There (were) some people angry when they put the tarp (on),” Beltran said. “We felt like they took a little momentum away from us. But I think everything worked out in our favor. After they took the tarp off and we were able to put (together) that great inning, it was fun to watch.”
The rain stopped quickly, and the delay only lasted 10 minutes.
Four runs had already scored in the inning, with Houston cutting Minnesota’s lead to 8-6. The Astros came right back after the break and scored another run on an RBI single by George Springer and took the lead on a two-run double by Josh Reddick.
“I don’t think we ever think we’re down and out of a game,” Reddick said. “We just got (to) keep confidence in ourselves. Especially today, moving forward we’ve got to know that we’re never out of a game. This is one game we’re going to have to look back to the rest of the year.”
Carlos Correa added three hits, including a solo homer, and three RBIs as Houston recovered from a six-run deficit with its first 11-run inning since 1994. The Astros posted a season-high run total and knocked a season-high 18 hits.
Jose Altuve and Marwin Gonzalez also had three hits apiece, and Alex Bregman added a two-run homer for Houston, which has won seven of its past eight games and leads the majors with 36 victories and 16 road wins.
“We’re always having fun,” Correa said of the feeling when the team was down. “We’re having a great season. We’re not going to let one game bring us down. At the same time, we want to win every single game. It doesn’t matter what the score is, we’re going to keep putting great at-bats together, and I think that’s what we did tonight.
Jordan Jankowski (1-0) earned his first major league win in his second career appearance. Jankowski allowed four runs in 2 1/3 innings in relief of starter Brad Peacock.
Craig Breslow (1-1) gave up three runs in one-third of an inning. He surrendered three hits after relieving Ryan Pressly, who started the eighth inning against Houston and allowed up five runs, three hits and a walk in one-third of an inning. Matt Belisle also gave up three runs in one-third of an inning for Minnesota.
“It’s embarrassing,” Pressly said. “We’ve got to go out there and get people out. We’ve just got to go out there and continue to grind and put this one behind us.”
With Twins ace Ervin Santana on the mound, the Astros were facing an 8-2 deficit after Minnesota scored seven runs in the fifth. But once Santana departed, Houston took advantage of a beleaguered bullpen, which was drained after Sunday’s 15-inning loss.
Pressly was pitching for the fourth time in six days. Breslow and Belisle were used for the third time in four days. The 13 runs allowed by the bullpen on Monday represent a Twins record.
“When you have one of the best offensive teams in the game with a six-run lead, you’re going to go with your experience and guys that you feel should get people out,” Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said of his bullpen usage.
Santana gave the Twins a much-needed seven innings. He allowed two runs — one earned — on five hits and two walks with six strikeouts. Miguel Sano’s two-run homer finished the scoring in Minnesota’s seven-run fifth. Former Astro Robbie Grossman added a solo homer in the seventh and finished with two RBIs.
Peacock retired the first 11 batters and had given up just one hit before the fifth. He pitched 4 2/3 innings and gave up four runs on four hits. He struck out eight batters for the second straight outing and walked one.
NOTES: Houston manager A.J. Hinch wasn’t available after the game after coming down with an illness. ... Minnesota CF Byron Buxton left the game after he sustained a laceration on his right ring finger. Buxton dived for a ball in the top of the sixth and appeared to hit his hand on LF Eddie Rosario, who caught the ball. Ehire Adrianza pinch-hit for Buxton in the bottom of the inning. Adrianza took over in left field with Rosario sliding to center. It was the first time in Adrianza’s five-year career he played the outfield. ... The Twins recalled RHP Drew Rucinski and selected the contract of LHP Jason Wheeler from Triple-A Rochester before the game. ... Houston RHP Jandel Gustave (right forearm tightness) has started a throwing program in Florida. He has been on the disabled list since April 19.