Astros bang out 16 hits, hold off Twins 13-12

Jeremy Pena recorded his sixth three-hit game of the season to pace a balanced offensive attack by the Houston Astros, who outlasted the Minnesota Twins 13-12 on Friday.

The Astros improved to 13-2 over their last 15 games by banging out 16 hits with the middle third of the order doing the most damage. Pena, batting sixth, finished 3-for-5 with three RBIs and three runs scored. Four-hole hitter Yainer Diaz went 2-for-5 with three runs as well.

Houston scored three times in the second, sixth, eighth and ninth innings with Diaz, Jon Singleton and Pena scoring all three runs in the second and sixth. Singleton finished 2-for-5 and scored two runs batting fifth.

The Twins made it interesting in the bottom of the ninth, scoring seven runs with two outs. Astros right-hander Luis Contreras allowed five consecutive batters to reach with two outs before Houston closer Josh Hader entered and surrendered a grand slam to Twins shortstop Carlos Correa. Hader rallied to strike out Manuel Margot for his 15th save of the season.

Diaz walked and scored on a Pena single to kickstart the three-run second. Singleton singled and scored when Cesar Salazar delivered a two-out RBI single before Jose Altuve followed with a single that plated Pena. That uprising came against Twins starter Pablo Lopez (8-7), who steadied himself over the ensuing three innings before stumbling in the sixth.

In the interim, the Twins seized a 4-3 lead after Astros opener Shawn Dubin recorded only eight outs while surrendering three runs on five hits and one walk. Minnesota designated hitter Jose Miranda clubbed his ninth home run with one out in the third, knotting the score at 3-3.

Miranda added an RBI double in the fifth off Astros left-hander Bryan King (1-0) to lift the Twins to a one-run lead. When Miranda slapped a single to right field off Astros reliever Bryan Abreu in the seventh, he capped a 4-for-4 night and set a club record with his 10th hit in as many at-bats.

The Twins’ lead was short lived as Diaz, Singleton and Pena stroked successive singles off Lopez, with Pena delivering the game-tying hit that chased Lopez from the game. Joey Loperfido added a two-run, automatic double that gave the Astros the lead for good at 6-4.

Lopez allowed six runs on eight hits and two walks with six strikeouts over five-plus innings.

Pena and Jake Meyers delivered sacrifice flies in the Astros’ three-run eighth. Alex Bregman clubbed a three-run home run, his 10th, for a 13-5 lead in the ninth. Altuve, who departed after being hit by a pitch on the left hand in the eighth, and Bregman had two hits apiece.

Max Kepler and Brooks Lee had three hits each for the Twins, who recorded 17 hits.

–Field Level Media