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Houston’s deep lineup can create all sorts of problems for its opponents.
Like deciding whether to pitch to Jose Altuve or Carlos Correa.
Correa hit a game-ending RBI single in the 12th inning after Altuve was walked intentionally Authentic Customized Giants Jerseys , sending the Houston Astros to a 4-3 win over the Kansas City Royals on Saturday night.
”He’s been a very clutch hitter,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. ”I’ve seen that base hit to right-center a handful of times during his short career. It does not surprise me that he put a good swing on a fastball away.”
George Springer led off the 12th with a walk, and Alex Bregman followed with a bloop single into shallow right field that fell between three players. An error by Ryan Goins allowed Springer to advance to third.
”We had the shift on,” Royals first baseman Hunter Dozier said of the bloop single. ”Just perfect placement. We all tried, but we just couldn’t get there.”
After Altuve was awarded first, Correa singled into the gap in right-center against Justin Grimm (1-3).
”You get in that situation you have to intentionally walk one,” Grimm said. ”Bases loaded and no outs, just battling with that guy. He put a good swing on a fastball in the outfield. It happened how it happened.”
Correa said he was trying to drive the ball to get a sacrifice fly or something to the outfield. It was his sixth career game-ending hit and first since August 1, 2016, against Toronto.
”I don’t know how many career walk-offs I have,” Correa said. ”Every single time they walk Altuve. They walk him because the best hitter in the game is hitting in front of me, but at the same time, it’s not an easy task to walk him and get me out.”
Collin McHugh (3-0) pitched a perfect inning for the win. Houston’s bullpen combined for six shutout innings.
”Everybody up and down the staff, we know that our job is to get outs no matter what time of the game it is called upon us to do it,” McHugh said.
Kansas City carried a 3-2 lead into the ninth, but Houston rallied against Brandon Maurer. After Yuli Gurriel and Josh Reddick singled with one out, Evan Gattis hit a tying sacrifice fly to left. Marwin Gonzalez then walked, but Brian McCann grounded out to end the inning.
The Royals wasted a solid start by Ian Kennedy in their 10th loss in 11 games. Kennedy allowed two runs and four hits in seven innings.
Kansas City jumped in front on Dozier’s three-run homer in the fourth, but Correa hit a sacrifice fly and Gurriel homered to trim the Royals’ lead to 3-2 in the bottom half of the inning.
”Hunter gave us a big lift with the three-run jack,” Kansas City manager Ned Yost said. ”We just couldn’t really muster anything outside of that. If we could just find a way to tack on a run here or there it would be beneficial for us.”
Houston right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. struck out nine in six innings. He permitted four hits and walked two.
ALTUVE MOVING UP THE CHARTS
Altuve tied Terry Puhl for seventh in Astros history with 1,357 hits with his double in the fourth. Altuve tied Bill Doran for ninth place in franchise history with 611 runs when he scored in the fourth.
HE SAID IT
”He’s going to do that 99 times out of 100. He did exactly what I thought he would.” – McHugh on Correa’s game-ending hit.
Royals: 1B Lucas Duda (right foot) was recalled from his rehab assignment with Triple-A Omaha and started at designated hitter. He went 1 for 4 with a ninth-inning single. OF Paulo Orlando was optioned to Omaha to make room on the roster for Duda.
Royals: RHP Jason Hammel (2-8) will make his 16th start of the season Sunday in the series finale. Hammel has a 2.85 ERA in nine appearances – eight starts – against the Astros.
Astros: RHP Gerrit Cole (8-1) will make his 16th start of the season looking for his seventh straight win. Cole walked a career-high five and allowed four runs for a second straight outing in earning a no-decision Monday against the Rays.
Eduardo Escobar, yet again, gave the Minnesota Twins the go-ahead hit.
Two of them, of course. He’s become a doubles machine.
With a two-base hit that drove in two runs off Chris Sale in the sixth inning and another that launched a four-run eighth Authentic Customized Jets Jerseys , Escobar led for the Twins to a 6-2 victory over the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday night.
”I don’t know if he can keep up that kind of torrid pace, but we’re seeing a guy who is supremely confident,” Twins manager Paul Molitor said.
Robby Scott (0-1), just recalled from Triple-A, relieved Sale to start the eighth and walked the first two batters. Joe Kelly entered, and Escobar’s one-out line drive bounced in front of Jackie Bradley Jr. and skipped past the center fielder as two runs scored. The official scorer later changed his ruling from a single to a double, giving Escobar a majors-leading 32 for the season. Robbie Grossman broke the game open with a two-run triple.
Escobar is on a season-long pace for 75 doubles, which would blow by Earl Webb’s record of 67 doubles in 1931 for the Red Sox.
”Let me tell you: If they don’t catch the ball I’m going to run to second base, 100 percent,” Escobar said. ”My mentality when I make contact with the ball is to run all the way to second base.”
Escobar, who will be a free agent in the fall, has for the fourth straight season been slated for a utility role only to hit his way into regular duty after a setback in the infield. This year, injury and ineffectiveness for third baseman Miguel Sano paved Escobar’s way into the everyday lineup.
”If he doesn’t have a double a day, it’s like a disappointment right now. He’s unbelievable. He always finds a barrel,” said teammate Trevor Hildenberger, who struck out American League RBI leader J.D. Martinez with runners at second and third to end the seventh after relieving Jose Berrios.
The Red Sox went 2 for 13 with runners in scoring position and left 11 men on base.
”Whenever you have a chance, you have to catch him,” Boston manager Alex Cora said.
The late surge masked a classic pitching duel between Sale and Berrios, the six-time All-Star against the budding ace. Sale retired the first 14 batters he faced before Ehire Adrianza’s soft roller to Rafael Devers at third base went for an infield single.
With a two-out home run by Devers in the sixth off Berrios, the Red Sox were in control. All it took was a single by Ryan LaMarre and a hit by pitch for Joe Mauer, though, to start a rally in the bottom of the inning. With one out, Escobar drove a 1-1 slider near the dirt from Sale down the left-field line for a 2-1 lead. Escobar pumped his arms back and forth before clapping and pointing at his teammates in the dugout.
”You know this guy. Every pitch is nasty,” said Escobar Authentic Customized Raiders Jerseys , once a minor league teammate of Sale’s in the Chicago White Sox system. ”I guess I made good contact.”
Sale finished seven innings, the 12th time in 16 starts this season he has logged at least six. This was the 11th turn in which he’s yielded two runs or fewer and his fifth double-digit strikeout performance. In his last three starts, he has allowed only 11 hits in 21 innings. Yet the Red Sox are only 8-8 with him on the mound.
”I’m not going to hang my head about it. I know these guys in here want to win. I know they’re not doing anything different on my day,” Sale said. ”Maybe I’ll bring popsicles or something for the boys.”
Struggling Twins right-hander Addison Reed, who has appeared in only one of the previous six games, has been at least temporarily removed from his setup role. Zach Duke (3-2) took the eighth inning instead and, with two outs, surrendered Sandy Leon’s tying single that drove in Devers.
Red Sox: 2B Dustin Pedroia, who has played in only three games this season because of inflammation in his left knee, has still not been cleared for baseball activities since returning to the DL three weeks ago. The lack of progress has been concerning, Cora acknowledged. ”It was major surgery. We didn’t know what to expect. So we are where we are now, hoping that, yeah, he’ll be back. When? We don’t know,” Cora said.
Twins: RHP Ervin Santana, yet to appear this season because of a slow recovery from surgery on his middle finger, threw a 35-pitch bullpen session before the game. He’ll face live hitters on Friday, another step forward after his setback last month.
Red Sox: LHP David Price (8-4, 3.76 ERA) pitches Wednesday night. He is 6-0 in his last seven starts, with two runs or fewer allowed in all but one of those, when he gave up three runs. Price is 10-3 with a 2.52 ERA in his career against the Twins.
Twins: RHP Lance Lynn (4-5, 4.98 ERA) takes the mound in the middle game of the series. He’s 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA over his last five turns, with a .195 batting average against him and 30 strikeouts in 31 1/3 innings.