The Houston Astros, powered by a pair of grand slams, blasted the
Minnesota Twins 14-5 Sunday in the final game of a three-game series
at Target Field.
For both Carter and Singleton, the slams were the first of their
career. The two in one game was only the second time in franchise
history it has happened, and the first since July 30, 1969.
"It was good to see the offense break out today," Astros manager Bo
Porter said. "We needed every last one of them. Give the Twins
credit, they wouldn't go away."
Houston built a 5-0 lead through its half of the fourth inning, but
watched the Twins chip away at the lead, pulling to within two after
back-to-back RBI singles by third baseman Trevor Plouffe and left
fielder Josh Willingham in the bottom of the fifth made it 5-3.
But the Astros got to Twins lefty Brian Duensing to start the
seventh, getting a double a walk and a bunt single to load the bases
in front of designated hitter Carter, who smashed a 2-1 fastball the
opposite way 390 feet over the right field wall for his 10th homer
of the season.
"It's exciting to get the first one," Carter said. "It's been a lot
of at-bats and a lot of chances. I think it's been like three years,
at least (in Triple A) since I hit one. Worked out for me this
For Carter, it was the 58th career big-league home run in his
1,023rd at-bat. Singleton didn't have to wait nearly as long,
getting his first slam on his second career homer and 25th career
at-bat after making his major league debut last Tuesday.
In the ninth, a single, an error and a hit batter loaded the bases
for first baseman Singleton against Twins closer Glen Perkins, who
hit his second home run of the season to nearly the same spot in
right as Carter did.
"It's great anytime we can get a 'W,' Singleton said. "I'm just here
to help our ball club win."
Minnesota scored two runs in the bottom of the seventh and had two
on with one out, but Astros left-hander Darin Downs got out of the
jam with a foul out and a three-pitch strikeout to end the threat.
Downs (1-0) earned the win, pitching 2 2/3 innings of scoreless
Houston took advantage of wild outing from Twins starter Samuel
Deduno, who struggled with his control all day. Deduno went only
three-plus innings, walking four and hitting a pair of batters,
allowing five earned runs in taking the loss. He dropped to 2-4.
"They're pretty good, but I didn't make good pitches," Deduno said.
"If I make my pitches, throw strikes and get my movement with the
fastball, I think I can be pretty good. But today, I didn't have
Astros starter Collin McHugh wasn't much better, walking five over 4
1/3 innings, but he did a better job limiting the damage. He allowed
three runs on three hits but also struck out six, including one to
escape a two-on, two-out jam in the third.
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Deduno was in trouble in each inning he worked, escaping the first
thanks to a 4-6-3 double play with two on and one out. He wasn't as
lucky in the second, when after a walk and a stolen base to left
fielder Robbie Grossman, catcher Carlos Corporan drove in a run with
an RBI single.
"He really fought it out there," Twins manager Ron Gardenhire
said. "High pitch count, ball was going all over the place. Didn't
look like he had much command of anything. You're hoping he's going
to figure it out and at least get you to the fifth inning. It wasn't
going to work out too well. He scuffled."
Center fielder Dexter Fowler led off the third inning with a solo
homer over the right field wall to make it 2-0 before Deduno issued
a pair of walks and hit a batter to start the third before being
lifted. Twins righty Anthony Swarzak entered and allowed
back-to-back RBI singles to shortstop Jonathan Villar and Fowler and
a sacrifice fly by second baseman Jose Altuve to close the book on
Twins right fielder Eduardo Nunez hit a solo home run to left, his
second of the season, to get Minnesota on the board in the fourth. A
sacrifice fly by Willingham and an RBI double by Nunez plated two
more for the Twins in the seventh, but Astros right fielder George
Springer got one back in the eighth, leading off the inning with his
NOTES: The loss was Minnesota's first this season in a
series-deciding game (7-1). ... It was the third time in franchise
history the Twins allowed two grand slams in one game and the first
since April 22, 1988. ... Twins 1B/DH Kendrys Morales was activated
and in uniform Sunday for Minnesota, the same day he signed a
one-year, prorated $12 million contract with the team. ... Twins RF
Oswaldo Arcia, who sustained a sprained right ankle Thursday against
the Milwaukee Brewers, was in the starting lineup as the DH Sunday.
... Entering Sunday, the Astros have won the final game in seven of
their last nine series, including wins against three American League
Central teams. ... Houston recalled LHP Rudy Owens from Triple-A
Oklahoma City, optioning RHP Paul Clemens to Triple A. Owens arrived
in Minneapolis before the game.
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