Following a game last night that included an hour and a half rain delay, the Minnesota Twins watched Phil Hughes get knocked around Target Field for, eseentially, the first time this year. The longball was not Hughes friend and the Twin watched themselves fall to the Houston Astros by a score of 5-4.
Today, the Twins once again set out to top the Astros on a raining gloomy afternoon, but the ball bounced much more their way. Facing the Houston Astros opening day starter, Scott Feldman, the Twins capitalized early.
Josh Willingham started the second by getting on due to a hit by pitch from Feldman, and Trevor Plouffe capitalized on an Astros error. The bases were then loaded following a Kurt Suzuki walk. Aaron Hicks then forced another Astros error by Marwin Gonzalez to score Willingham. Danny Sanatana cleaned up driving in Plouffe and Suzuki to give the Twins an early 3-0 lead.
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In the fourth inning, it was again Santana driving in Suzuki and Eduardo Escobar on a well hit double to center fielder Dexter Fowler. Following a Joe Mauer force out, Josh Willingham singled to drive in Brian Dozier from 2nd. After another walk to Trevor Plouffe, the Twins had the bases loaded and Chris Parmelee walked to drive in yet another run.
Kurt Suzuki struck out to end the fourth with the bases loaded, and after four runs had already crossed the plate, things could have been even uglier for the Astros.
In the seventh, it was once again Danny Santana singling to drive in Kurt Suzuki for the Minnesota Twins 8th run of the game giving them an 8-0 lead.
While Feldman was chased early for the Astros (1.2 innings) and Paul Clemens struggled to keep the Twins off the board (4 earned runs in two innings) Jerome Williams threw a solid 3 innings of relief for the Houston Astros giving up only one run.
Kyle Gibson pitched much the way he has at Target Field this year. Although the road has been a struggle for him, Gibson has been tough at home for the Twins. Today Gibson threw 7 shutout innings of 3 hit baseball while striking out 5. Gibson had a pretty long leash today throwing 106 pitches and getting 64 across for strikes.
The box score for today’s game can be found here.
The Twins will look to win the series against the Astros tomorrow with the first pitch scheduled for 1:10 pm central.