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|08-08-2016, 10:20 PM||#1|
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Duffey, Rosario lead surging Twins past Astros 3-1
Tyler Duffey pitched six effective innings and Minnesota took advantage of two misplays by center fielder Carlos Gomez in a three-run fifth that sent the Twins past the Houston Astros 3-1 on Monday night.
Gomez, the former Twins outfielder, let Jorge Polanco's single skip by him for a two-base error that allowed one run to score. Then he lost a fly ball off Juan Centeno's bat, turning it into an RBI triple.
Danny Santana followed with a run-scoring single, and Minnesota won for the seventh time in nine games.
Duffey (7-8) permitted one run on four hits and struck out eight. Three relievers combined for three hitless innings, and Brandon Kintzler finished for his 10th save in 11 chances.
Collin McHugh (7-9) gave up three runs and 10 hits in seven innings, losing his third straight start.
Eddie Rosario had three hits for Minnesota, which has come around after a dreadful first half of the season.
The Twins entered the year with postseason hopes after a surprising 2015 season but then finished the first half as the worst team in the American League. But since July 2, Minnesota has gone 21-12 and is playing the role of spoiler well.
Since July 2, Minnesota leads the majors in runs, hits, doubles and triples.
Polanco, called up from the minors when the Twins traded All-Star infielder Eduardo Nunez to San Francisco, has played a big part. Polanco has hit .378 with six RBIs in nine games since being recalled.
Meanwhile, Minnesota manager Paul Molitor said Rosario will get a look in center field after the team sent Byron Buxton to Triple-A on Sunday. Rosario has hit .461 with four RBIs in six games as the starting center fielder.
Houston's playoff push has stalled as the offense has struggled. The Astros have lost 10 of their past 13 games and scored more than three runs just three times during that span.
Astros: 2B Jose Altuve was given the night off, snapping the longest active streak in the majors at 202 consecutive games played. . Right-handed reliever Luke Gregerson (left oblique strain) was scheduled to throw off a mound, and manager A.J. Hinch said Gregerson is "progressing nicely." Hinch expects Gregerson to throw a few more times before being activated from the DL and said a rehab assignment likely won't be needed. . INF Luis Valbuena (right hamstring) is back in Houston and Hinch said Valbuena has done some increased running.
Twins: Trevor Plouffe returned to the lineup after missing 32 games with a broken rib. Plouffe started at third base and went 1 for 4.
Hector Santiago (10-5, 4.37 ERA) makes his first home start for the Twins on Tuesday night. The left-hander was acquired from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline and gave up four runs on five hits in five innings in his Minnesota debut at Cleveland. Houston counters with RHP Mike Fiers (7-5, 4.34), who tied a season high with seven strikeouts but took the loss against Toronto in his last appearance.