Maldonado, Astros make late noise, overcome 4 Twins homers
By Brian Hall
MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Martín Maldonado hit a go-ahead double in the ninth, prompting a fan to toss an inflatable trash can onto the field, and the Houston Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 6-4 on Friday night.
This was Houston’s first trip to Target Field with fans in the stands since 2019, and the Astros heard a chorus of boos and chants of “You’re a cheater.”
The Astros came into Minnesota last year and swept the Twins in the AL wild-card playoff round. There were no crowds then and, now given a chance to sound off, Twins fans made known their displeasure over Houston’s sign-stealing scandal.
Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel homered and Alex Bregman drove in two runs for Houston, which won for the fourth time in five games. Michael Brantley added three hits for the Astros, who are 29-17 since April 22 when they were 7-10 and at the bottom of the AL West.
Ryne Stanek (1-1) allowed a ying homer to Josh Donaldson in the eighth but earned the win in relief of starter José Urquidy. Ryan Pressly notched his 10th save in 11 chances.
Donaldson homered twice and Nelson Cruz and Miguel Sanó also connected — alll four Minnesota drives were solo shots.
The Twins have lost three of four. They couldn’t build any momentum from Thursday night’s walkoff win against the New York Yankees, when Donaldson and Cruz each connected for two-run homer in the ninth off closer Aroldis Chapman.
Matt Shoemaker (2-8), who was scheduled to start but was moved to the bullpen before the game, allowed two runs on three hits in relief. Rookie Bailey Ober started in place of Shoemaker.
Maldonado doubled to break a 4-all tie and Brantley added an RBI single.
Astros: RHP Enoli Paredes was placed on the 10-day injured list with a right shoulder strain. Ralph Garza Jr. was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land. … Manager Dusty Baker said the reports on Lance McCullers Jr. (right shoulder soreness) were good after his Triple-A rehab start on Thursday. McCullers gave up one run on two hits in four innings, with no walks and four strikeouts.
Twins: OF Byron Buxton (right hip strain) took a day off from playing on his rehab assignment at Triple-A St. Paul. Buxton worked out at Target Field and will be in the lineup for St. Paul again on Saturday. … RHP Kenta Maeda (right adductor strain and general right arm soreness) will make his return from the injured list and start Monday’s game at Seattle. … OF Alex Kirilloff was in the lineup after spraining his left ankle in Thursday’s game.
RHP Luis Garcia (5-3, 2.75 ERA) starts Saturday for Houston, carrying a streak of five straight starts with a win. He’s allowed six runs in 29 innings over that stretch. Minnesota will counter with RHP José Berríos (6-2, 3.58). Berríos allowed four runs in six innings but beat Kansas City in his last outing.