The Astros' offense returned to normal as Houston evened up the series at one apiece. The Astros are averaging 5.5 runs per game over their last two games. Houston is 18-12.
*The eleven runs scored last night are a season high. It's the 4th time this season they've scored in double-digits, and the 2nd time they've done it against the Twins.
*It's also the second shutout of the season for the pitching staff. Houston pitchers have allowed two runs in their last 27 innings. They have a two-game streak of allowing three or fewer hits for the first time since September 19-20, 2016. The franchise record is three games of three or fewer hits, set September 23-25, 1986, the final game of which streak was Mike Scott's no-hitter against the Giants that clinched the division.
*25 of the Astros' 30 games have come against teams over .500. Considering there are only five other AL teams over .500 (with the Rangers at 14-14), this is hard to do.
*Gerrit Cole was fantastic, throwing 7IP, 1H/0ER, 11K:3BB. It's the second time in his career he has 10+ Ks and allowed one hit in the same start - the last being one of the most dominant starts in franchise history, on May 4, 2018. It's the third time in his career that he has struck out 10+ batters and not allowed any runs. He started off slow, walking the first two batters he faced before Correa started a double play on a ball that was almost-literally scorched off of Nelson Cruz's bat. Cole:
It was a little bit different of an environment than I had pitched in in a while, and I was just struggling a little bit to command the breaking ball in the zone. Carlos made a great play and picked me up...That was pretty much the game.
He's one of the best in the league. Across the board, his stuff is elite. When he gets in hitter's counts, you can see him have that putaway mentality. It looked like he had a lot of fun tonight. He was in complete control.
*George Springer, Alex Bregman, and Jake Marisnick all homered. It's Marisnick's second home run of 2019, both came on the road. In fact, Marisnick's last six home runs dating back to June 28, 2018 have come on the road, and twelve of his last 15 home runs have been away from Minute Maid Park.
McTaggart noted that Bregman's 9th inning walk ties Joe Morgan's franchise record set in 1970 with 11 straight games with an unintentional walk.
*Carlos Correa was 2x3 with 3RBI - his 3rd 3RBI game of the year. He had five such games in all of 2018.
*Michael Brantley and Josh Reddick each had three hits. Reddick has 2+ hits in eight of his last 16 games. Reddick got his first start at DH since September 16, 2015.
*Seven of the starters in last night's lineup ended the game with an OPS over .840. The Astros' 123 wRC+ leads baseball. At 19.7%, the Astros have the 3rd-lowest K% in baseball - only the A's (19.2%) and Angels (15.7%) strike out at a lower rate.
*Yuli Gurriel was given the night off, as he is frustrated, says Chandler Rome, who also noted that six of the last seven balls he has hit 110mph+ have been outs.
*Houston went 4x15 w/RISP, improving to a .235 average with runners on 2nd and/or 3rd. They're still leading the league with the bases empty with a .287 average.
*Last night's win was A.J. Hinch's 392nd victory as manager of the Astros - tying him for 3rd with Art Howe. He needs 43 more to catch Larry Dierker, and 152 to tie Bill Virdon for most in franchise history.
*J.J. Matijevic was suspended 50 games for a second positive test of a Drug of Abuse. He was the Astros' 2nd Round pick out of Arizona in 2017. What the Heck, Bobby got wind of this news before it broke in yesterday's Farm Report. Click the link and note that Tyler Ivey - the Astros' 3rd Round pick in 2017 - has been unofficially suspended for having a foreign substance on his glove on April 12. Jayne is the best and you should read her blog often.
*Jake Kaplan has a really good story on J.B. Bukauskas' roller-coaster of a season so far.
Bukauskas' 1st three games for Corpus: 8IP, 16H/18R (17ER), 7K:12BB.
Bukauskas' last start for Corpus: 4IP, 1H/1R (0ER), 9K:2BB.
*Ken Rosenthal notes that free agent pitcher Dallas Keuchel (perhaps you've heard of him) would now prefer to sign a 1-year deal and re-enter free agency this offseason. You know, because free agency has been a massive success for him this year.
*Bon Appetit: The Bizarre History of Buca di Beppo, America's Most Postmodern Red Sauce Chain.
*BBC: Chris Froome's Tenerife Training Camp..."you come here to suffer."
For those of you who are New Around Here, I'm basically Eurotrash. I have listened to Kula Shaker in the last 24 hours. I pay attention to English soccer, and I love the Tour de France. Any efforts to make me stop linking to these sports will only strengthen my resolve and I will flood the Hot Links with cycling news out of spite.
*A Musical Selection: