MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Jose Berrios won his fourth straight start, Jason Castro homered off former battery mate Brad Peacock and drove in four runs, and the AL-leading Minnesota Twins beat the Houston Astros 8-2 on Thursday afternoon.
Backed by a six-run fourth from the Twins against Peacock, Berrios (5-1) finished seven smooth innings with seven hits and two runs allowed to push the Twins to their first season series victory over the Astros since 2013. Berrios is 4-0 in four starts at home this year.
With 52 home runs in 29 games, the Twins have powered their way to or near the top of the league in several hitting categories with one of the most balanced lineups in the majors.
Sure enough, even Castro, the defense-oriented catcher who came over from the Astros in 2017, started the third with a solo shot. Castro has three homers in his past five games.
Alex Bregman gave the Astros a first-inning lead with his home run off Berrios, but the right-hander retired 12 straight batters at one point and sailed behind the big lead.
The Astros, who entered the game tied for 21st in the majors with a .232 batting average with runners in scoring position, went 1 for 7.
The Twins had no such trouble, sending 10 men to the plate in the decisive fourth with a two-run double by Castro and an RBI triple by Byron Buxton doing the most damage.
Buxton had another stellar game in the field, too, with a running catch to snag Josh Reddick’s sinking liner in the second and a flying grab in front of the wall in right-center to rob Yuli Gurriel in the fourth.
Peacock (2-2) allowed eight hits, seven runs and two walks in 3 2/3 innings.
Marwin Gonzalez scored twice for the Twins with a double, a single and a walk to finally break through against his former team. Prior to the game, the third baseman was 0 for 18 with six strikeouts against the Astros.
Astros: Bregman played SS for just the second time this season, giving Carlos Correa a rest while Aledmys Diaz played 3B.
Twins: LHP Adalberto Mejia, who has an 8.74 ERA in 11 relief appearances, was placed on the injured list with a strained right calf. RHP Mike Morin, who has 186 major league appearances over the past five years, was promoted from Triple-A Rochester and added to the 40-man roster.
Astros: After a rare day off on Friday, LHP Wade Miley (1-2, 3.24 ERA) pitches on Saturday night to start a two-game series in Monterrey, Mexico, against Los Angeles. RHP Trevor Cahill (1-2, 5.93 ERA) takes the mound for the Angels. Miley has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his six starts.
Twins: RHP Kyle Gibson (2-0, 4.88 ERA) takes his turn on Friday night to start a three-game series in New York against the Yankees, who send LHP James Paxton (3-2, 3.38 ERA) to the mound. Gibson is 1-5 with a 6.86 ERA in eight starts against the Yankees. Since 2002, including the postseason, the Twins are 14-50 on the road against the Yankees.