baseball | mlb

Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins Pick & Prediction SEP 30TH 2020

FinishedTV: ESPN2Target Field Minneapolis

OP
8
-151
CU
8o -105
-1.5 +123
ML
135
-155
Partials
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
0 0 0 1 0 0 1 0 1
0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
Score
3
1
Recap

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After watching his team push across three unearned runs in the ninth inning to pull out a 4-1 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Tuesday, Houston Astros manager Dusty Baker was in no hurry to name his starter for Wednesday afternoon's Game 2 in the best-of-three American League wild-card series in Minneapolis.

"We'll make that decision after we get our heads together," Baker said. "We'll savor this one first because it's a big win."

Houston went just 10-17 in September regular-season games and along with the Milwaukee Brewers became the first teams in baseball history to make the playoffs with losing records. Even so, the Astros can advance to the American League Division Series with another win Wednesday.

The pitcher most expected to start Game 2 for Houston, left-hander Framber Valdez, came on in relief to pick up the victory in the opener, allowing just two hits while shutting out the Twins over the final five innings.

Houston took advantage of an errant throw by Twins shortstop Jorge Polanco on what should have been an inning-ending forceout in the ninth with the score 1-1. Jose Altuve walked with two outs and the bases loaded to force in Yuli Gurriel with what proved to be the game-winning run off reliever Sergio Romo. Michael Brantley followed with a two-run single.

"These guys know how to battle," Baker said. "We're glad we got an opportunity to play in the postseason and then negate and forget everything that happened the last couple of weeks. We weren't playing very well, hadn't been getting very many clutch hits. (But) this team knows how to win. They take pride in what they do."

Before the Tuesday win, Baker had hinted that right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (3-3, 3.93 ERA), who hasn't allowed an earned run over his last 13 2/3 innings and was penciled in to start Game 3 if necessary, could be moved up a day. Right-hander Jose Urquidy (1-1, 2.73) is another possibility.

Minnesota will turn to right-hander Jose Berrios (5-4, 4.00 ERA) in what is now an elimination game and also another attempt to snap its record postseason losing streak (17 games) dating back to the 2004 ALDS.

The postseason losing streak already was the longest in major league history. Tuesday's loss also gave the Twins the record for most consecutive postseason losses in major North American sports, breaking a tie with the Chicago Blackhawks, who lost 16 straight in the NHL playoffs from 1975-79.

Berrios had an up-and-down season but finished strong, going 3-1 with a 3.00 ERA in September. He is 2-3 with a 6.43 ERA in five career starts against the Astros. Berrios won his last start vs. Houston on May 2, 2019, at Target Field, 8-2, allowing two runs on seven hits over seven innings while striking out five.

Minnesota, which earned the nickname "The Bomba Squad" after setting a major league single-season record with 307 home runs in 2019, has gone four games without a homer and managed just a Nelson Cruz double and three singles in the Tuesday loss. The Twins also blew a golden opportunity to take early control of the opener, loading the bases with one out in the first inning but failing to score.

"We've got to find ways to get baserunners," Minnesota manager Rocco Baldelli said. "We've got to find ways to get on base. And when we had guys out there, we weren't able to get them in. If we expect to come out here and win, we have to play better."

--Field Level Media

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Houston Astros

Minnesota Twins

Player Position Lineup
Ryan Pressly Pitcher Pitching Order: 4
Brooks Raley Pitcher Pitching Order: 2
Cristian Javier Pitcher Pitching Order: 3
Jose Urquidy Pitcher Pitching Order: 1
Myles Straw primary: Center Outfield Batting Order: 8
Batting Order slot: 8
George Springer primary: Center Outfield
secondary: Right Outfield
Batting Order: 1
Batting Order slot: 1
Jose Altuve primary: Second Base Batting Order: 2
Batting Order slot: 2
Michael Brantley primary: Designated Hitter Batting Order: 3
Batting Order slot: 3
Alex Bregman primary: Third Base Batting Order: 4
Batting Order slot: 4
Kyle Tucker primary: Left Outfield Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Yuli Gurriel primary: First Base Batting Order: 6
Batting Order slot: 6
Carlos Correa primary: Shortstop Batting Order: 7
Batting Order slot: 7
Josh Reddick primary: Right Outfield Batting Order: 8
Batting Order slot: 8
Martin Maldonado primary: Catcher Batting Order: 9
Batting Order slot: 9
Player Position Lineup
Tyler Duffey Pitcher Pitching Order: 5
Jose Berrios Pitcher Pitching Order: 1
Cody Stashak Pitcher Pitching Order: 2
Taylor Rogers Pitcher Pitching Order: 4
Trevor May Pitcher Pitching Order: 3
Nelson Cruz primary: Designated Hitter Batting Order: 3
Batting Order slot: 3
Max Kepler primary: Center Outfield Batting Order: 2
Batting Order slot: 2
Miguel Sano primary: First Base Batting Order: 5
Batting Order slot: 5
Eddie Rosario primary: Left Outfield Batting Order: 4
Batting Order slot: 4
Byron Buxton primary: Pinch Runner
secondary: Designated Hitter
Batting Order: 3
Batting Order slot: 3
Jorge Polanco primary: Shortstop Batting Order: 7
Batting Order slot: 7
Alex Kirilloff primary: Right Outfield Batting Order: 6
Batting Order slot: 6
Ryan Jeffers primary: Catcher Batting Order: 9
Batting Order slot: 9
Marwin Gonzalez primary: Third Base Batting Order: 8
Batting Order slot: 8
Jake Cave primary: Left Outfield Batting Order: 4
Batting Order slot: 4
Luis Arraez primary: Second Base Batting Order: 1
Batting Order slot: 1

Houston Astros

Minnesota Twins

  • Match Start
    • extra-base-hit
    • 2B
    • batter: Nelson Cruz
    • pitcher: Brooks Raley
    • extra-base-hit
    • HR
    • Inning: 7
    • On Base:0
    • Outs:2
    • batter: Carlos Correa
    • pitcher: Cody Stashak
    • fielding-error
    • fielder: Jose Altuve
    • pickoff
    • Base:Array
    • runner: Byron Buxton
    • thrower: Cristian Javier
  • Match End

GAMES

Last 10

W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • @Tampa Bay L 2 - 4
  • @Tampa Bay W 7 - 4
  • Tampa Bay W 3 - 4
  • Tampa Bay W 3 - 4
  • Tampa Bay L 5 - 2
  • @Tampa Bay L 2 - 4
  • @Tampa Bay L 1 - 2
  • Oakland W 6 - 11
  • Oakland L 9 - 7
  • @Oakland W 5 - 2
W 50% L 50%
5 5
  • Houston L 3 - 1
  • Houston L 4 - 1
  • Cincinnati L 5 - 3
  • Cincinnati W 3 - 7
  • Cincinnati L 7 - 2
  • Detroit W 6 - 7
  • Detroit W 4 - 5
  • @Chi. Cubs W 4 - 0
  • @Chi. Cubs W 8 - 1
  • @Chi. Cubs L 0 - 1

Next Games

  • @Washington(10-27-19) W 7 - 1
  • Miami(03-14-19) L 12 - 6
  • @Detroit(05-15-19) W 5 - 1
  • @NY Yankees(10-18-19) L 1 - 4
  • NY Mets(03-22-19) W 3 - 7
  • @Tampa Bay(06-02-19) W 9 - 7
  • Baltimore(04-28-19) W 1 - 4
  • Philadelphia(03-03-19) D 3 - 3
  • @St. Louis(09-08-20) L 4 - 6
  • @Tampa Bay(06-02-19) W 9 - 7

Last Meetings

  • Astros @ Twins 3-1
  • Astros @ Twins 4-1
  • Astros @ Twins 2-8
  • Astros @ Twins 2-6
  • Astros @ Twins 11-0
  • Astros @ Twins 0-1
  • Twins @ Astros 1-7
  • Twins @ Astros 4-10
  • Twins @ Astros 9-5
  • Twins @ Astros 1-9

Last Injuries

Houston Astros vs. Minnesota Twins

Carlos Correa had two hits, including a homer for the go-ahead run, as the Houston Astros completed a two-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 victory in their American League wild-card series on Wednesday afternoon in Minneapolis.

Kyle Tucker went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and Cristian Javier pitched three no-hit innings of relief to pick up the win.

Sixth-seeded Houston, which went just 29-31 in the regular-season, advances to the ALDS to play the winner of the A's-White Sox series starting on Monday at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The win snapped a 10-game losing streak for Astros manager Dusty Baker in series-clinching games, dating back to 2003.

Ex-Twin Ryan Pressly pitched a 1-2-3 ninth to pick up the save.

The loss extended Minnesota's record for consecutive postseason losses to 18, the longest for the four major sports in North American history. The last postseason victory for the third-seeded and AL Central Division champion Twins came on Oct. 5, 2004, 2-0, over the New York Yankees in Game 1 of the American League Division Series.

Nelson Cruz had an RBI double and Alex Kirilloff became the first player in major league history to make his debut as a starter in a postseason game and also garner a single, one of just three hits for the Twins.

Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. Twins starter Jose Berrios, who retired the first 11 batters he faced, then issued back-to-back walks to Michael Brantley and Alex Bregman. Tucker then grounded a single against the shift into shallow left field to drive in Brantley.

The Twins tied it in the fifth when Marwin Gonzalez led off with a single, advanced to second on a walk by Luis Arraez and scored on Cruz's line double over the head of Tucker and off the fence in left. Arraez was thrown out at the plate trying to score to end the threat.

Correa then put Houston ahead 2-1 in the 7th with his 12th career postseason home run off reliever Cody Stashak (0-1), a 429-foot drive into the bleachers in right-center.

The Astros added an insurance run in the ninth against Twins closer Taylor Rogers. Brantley walked and Bregman singled to start the inning and Rogers yielded an RBI single to Tucker through a drawn-in infield.

Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton didn't start the game with an undisclosed injury but came on to pinch-run for Cruz in the eighth and was picked off first. Left fielder Eddie Rosario was ejected in the sixth inning by home plate umpire Manny Gonzalez for arguing balls and strikes after striking out.

--Field Level Media