Berrios earns first career win as Minnesota Twins top Astros
In just his second major league start, Jose Berrios (1-1, 6.75) came out needing to give the Minnesota Twins (8-18) an effective start after a rough stretch of home games that saw them go 2-4.
It went pretty well this time also as the Twins put together perhaps one of their finest efforts in a 6-2 win over the Houston Astros (8-18) that also marked Berrios’ first career victory.
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The Astros took the lead early with a solo blast by Preston Tucker in the second but Berrios would soon settle down.
And with the reigning Cy Young winner Dallas Kuechel (2-4, 5.11) on the mound, that should have been enough, right?
Well, unfortunately for the Astros, Kuechel looked like anything but the best pitcher in the American League as he struggled with his command all night long.
Dozier reached on a reviewed play that was reversed and deemed a hit, and Kuechel walked four in the fourth, including a bases loaded pass to Eduardo Nunez that gave the Twins a 3-1 lead.
The Twins would leave the bases loaded but would bounce right back in the fifth following a 10-pitch bottom of the fourth by Berrios.
Kuechel walked Brian Dozier to lead off the inning and allowed a single to right field by Miguel Sano before Byung Ho Park smacked a triple to center field on a ball that may have been gone in any other ball park.
Park’s first major league triple drove in two and extended the lead to 5-1.
For the Twins John Ryan Murphy contributed perhaps his most important moment of this season as he got tossed in the fifth after arguing a clear strike with home plate umpire Jerry Layne.
After a long delay, Berrios came right back to drop the hammer and deliver essentially the same pitch to strike out Jose Altuve looking.
The two teams exchanged homers in the bottom of the fifth with a solo shot by George Springer and then a home run by Nunez in the top of the sixth to make it 6-2.
Berrios exited the game after walking his fifth batter in the sixth inning but it was a still a very strong outing as there were some very close pitches that could have – or should have – been called strikes.
The bullpen took it over from there and performed well, shutting down the Astros for the final 3 2/3 innings of work.
MVT(S): Brian Dozier, Jose Berrios
The Twins will faceoff with the Astros in Game Two of the series Tuesday night at 7:10 PM CST at Minute Maid Park. The big story for the Twins will be the first big league start for Alex Meyer (0-0, 18.00) as he goes against Collin McHugh (2-3, 6.65). Meyer spent most of last season as a reliever in Triple-A after being converted from a starter. Now will be his opportunity to show what he’s got as many analysts have said this may be a make or break year for the rookie.