Ninth-inning hit gives Astros victory over Twins

  • Article by: PHIL MILLER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: September 4, 2013 - 11:44 PM

Minnesota trailed 3-0 after one inning and 5-3 after five, but Trevor Crowe’s RBI single in the ninth won it for Houston.


– The Twins’ favorite sparring partner, more than capable of putting up a good fight but always ceding victory in the end, finally landed a knockout punch Wednesday.

Trevor Crowe lined a Brian Duensing fastball into left field in the ninth inning, and Houston, winless against only one of its new American League compatriots until that moment, walked off with a 6-5 victory that actually left both teams feeling pretty good.

“We just went 4-2 on a road trip through Texas and Houston — that’s not bad,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said after his team rallied twice to tie the score but finally missed out on its first season-series sweep since 2007. “Sure, we’d have liked [to win] the one today, but any time you go 4-2, that’s not bad.”

No, and neither is the thrill of scoring a few runs for a change, even if it comes at the expense of the worst pitching staff in baseball. The Twins scored 24 runs in Minute Maid Park this week, more than they scored in their three previous series combined, more than any series this season except a four-game runs-fest at Fenway Park. And it wasn’t just hitting, it was clutch hitting, too — Minnesota fell behind in four of its six games against the Astros this year, and caught up every time.

Even in Wednesday’s loss, Minnesota rallied from a 3-0 deficit to tie the score on Alex Presley’s first home run as a Twin, and once Houston retook a two-run lead, the Twins scored in the eighth and ninth innings — Ryan Doumit’s leadoff home run in the ninth was the most dramatic touch — to tie it up again. All three games this week were tied at some point in the ninth inning, with the Twins eventually pulling out all but Wednesday’s.

“Anytime you can get a sweep, it’s going to be a good thing,” Duensing said after giving up a single to Jonathan Villar, a sacrifice bunt to Jose Altuve, and the game-winner to Crowe, “but we weren’t quite able to do it today.”

Yes, the Astros have a payroll under $25 million and are on pace to lose 108 games, so playing such competitive games with a last-place team can be interpreted several ways. But the Twins left no doubt about how they feel after taking five of six against the Astros.

“We’re playing pretty good right now,” Gardenhire said. “We seem to like this place.”

Actually, they seem to like anywhere but home these days; the Twins are 15-11 since the All-Star break away from Target Field, and only 7-13 in their home park. That’s a problem, since only seven of their remaining 24 games are outside of Minnesota.

“Guys get frustrated at Target Field. We hit a lot of long fly balls there,” Gardenhire said. “I just think right now, we’re putting too much pressure on ourselves at home.”

Pressure wasn’t a problem Wednesday. Presley, who is off to a 7-for-18 start with his new team since being acquired for Justin Morneau on Saturday, waited out 12 close pitches, fouling off six in a row, in the third inning before belting a fastball from Jordan Lyles into the right-field seats.

“His fastball had some late run on it. I’ve been rung up on pitches that caught the edge at the last second, so I wasn’t going to let that happen that at-bat,” Presley said. “My intention wasn’t to hit a home run. It’s just something that happens.”

As is his .389 introduction to his new team. Can he believe how quickly he’s adapted?

“Yeah, I can, actually. I think I belong,” said the center fielder. “In the past, when I’ve gotten chances to play every day, I’ve produced.”

  • related content

  • Photo gallery: Houston 6, Twins 5

    Wednesday September 4, 2013

    Houston wins the afternoon tilt in the 9th inning, 5-4 over the Twins

  • Postgame: New guys keep hitting for Twins

    Wednesday September 4, 2013

    Pinto and Presley each making a great first impression as they play for jobs in 2014

  • Wednesday's Twins-Houston game recap

    Wednesday September 4, 2013

    GAME RECAPIMPACT PLAYERTrevor Crowe, HoustonThe left fielder had two hits,with both of them scoring a runner from second base, including...

  • Mastroianni battles with ankle soreness

    Wednesday September 4, 2013

    A half-hour after being gingerly helped off the field by a couple of athletic trainers Wednesday, the Twins outfielder had made a complete recovery.

  • Astros shortstop Jonathan Villar sailed over the Twins’ Alex Presley to complete a first-inning double play.

  • Fans watch as Houston Astros' Marwin Gonzalez bats against the Minneso...

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions


NY Jets 6:00 PM
Baltimore 7:30 PM
New Orleans
Chicago 11/27/14 11:30 AM
Philadelphia 11/27/14 3:30 PM
Seattle 11/27/14 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Cleveland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Washington 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tennessee 11/30/14 12:00 PM
San Diego 11/30/14 12:00 PM
NY Giants 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Cincinnati 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Tampa Bay
Oakland 11/30/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
New Orleans 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Carolina 11/30/14 12:00 PM
Arizona 11/30/14 3:05 PM
New England 11/30/14 3:25 PM
Green Bay
Denver 11/30/14 7:30 PM
Kansas City
LA Clippers 6:00 PM
Portland 6:00 PM
Orlando 6:00 PM
Phoenix 6:30 PM
New York 7:00 PM
Indiana 7:30 PM
Chicago 8:00 PM
Pittsburgh 6:00 PM
Philadelphia 6:00 PM
NY Islanders
Ottawa 6:30 PM
Minnesota 6:30 PM
East Carolina 49 FINAL
Green Bay 66
Nevada 56 FINAL
Weber State 59
Evansville 58 FINAL
Fresno State 52
Purdue 79 FINAL
Kansas State 88
Dillard 73 FINAL
Alcorn State 95
Clemson 64 FINAL
LSU 61
Georgia State 53 2nd Half 7:37
Chicago State 31
MD-Eastern Shore 47 2nd Half 9:10
Detroit 46
Missouri 25 2nd Half
Arizona 32
Austin Peay 13 1st Half 5:20
Indiana State 20
Milwaukee 5:00 PM
Marist 5:00 PM
Fla Gulf Coast
Gardner-Webb 5:30 PM
Old Dominion
Hampton 6:00 PM
Appalachian St
Grambling St 6:00 PM
Ball State
FIU 6:00 PM
Ga Southern
Jacksonville 6:00 PM
IUPU-Ft Wayne
Colgate 6:00 PM
James Madison
Savannah State 6:00 PM
Arizona State 6:00 PM
Santa Clara 6:00 PM
Michigan State
Western Carolina 6:00 PM
SE Louisiana 6:00 PM
Tenn Tech
Bucknell 6:00 PM
Villanova 6:00 PM
VA Commonwealth
Nicholls 6:00 PM
Wake Forest
East Tenn St 6:00 PM
Murray State 6:00 PM
Eastern Wash 6:30 PM
Stephen F Austin 7:00 PM
Lipscomb 7:00 PM
Brown 7:00 PM
Pepperdine 7:00 PM
Rider 7:00 PM
Prairie View 7:00 PM
Clayton State 7:00 PM
Miss State
Miss Valley St 7:00 PM
TX A&M-Int 7:00 PM
Incarnate Word
Oregon State 7:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Hawaii 7:30 PM
San Francisco
Seton Hall 8:00 PM
Illinois State
NJIT 8:00 PM
Stetson 8:00 PM
New Mexico St
Florida A&M 8:00 PM
Pittsburgh 8:00 PM
Alabama 8:30 PM
Iowa State
Michigan 8:30 PM
Colorado Christian 8:30 PM
Northern Colorado
Chadron State 8:30 PM
South Dakota St
Western Mich 9:00 PM
San Diego
SIU Edwardsville 9:05 PM
Portland State
Tulsa 10:00 PM
BYU 10:30 PM
San Diego St
Ohio U 11/25/14 6:00 PM
LSU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Texas A&M
(6) TCU 11/27/14 6:30 PM
Northern Ill 11/28/14 10:00 AM
Western Mich
Nebraska 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Western Ky 11/28/14 11:00 AM
(19) Marshall
UCF 11/28/14 11:00 AM
So Florida
Houston 11/28/14 11:00 AM
Akron 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Kent State
Ball State 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Bowling Green
Buffalo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Toledo 11/28/14 12:00 PM
Eastern Mich
Arkansas 11/28/14 1:30 PM
(17) Missouri
Navy 11/28/14 2:00 PM
South Alabama
(13) Arizona State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(12) Arizona
Stanford 11/28/14 2:30 PM
(9) UCLA
(21) Colorado State 11/28/14 2:30 PM
Air Force
Virginia 11/28/14 7:00 PM
Virginia Tech
East Carolina 11/28/14 7:30 PM
North Texas 11/29/14 11:00 AM
TX-San Antonio
Old Dominion 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Fla Atlantic
(16) Georgia Tech 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(8) Georgia
Kentucky 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(24) Louisville
So Carolina 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(23) Clemson
West Virginia 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
Rice 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Louisiana Tech
Michigan 11/29/14 11:00 AM
(7) Ohio State
Purdue 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Illinois 11/29/14 11:00 AM
Cincinnati 11/29/14 11:00 AM
NC State 11/29/14 11:30 AM
North Carolina
Syracuse 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Boston College
Louisiana 11/29/14 11:30 AM
Utah 11/29/14 12:00 PM
Texas State 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Idaho 11/29/14 1:00 PM
Appalachian St
Wyoming 11/29/14 2:00 PM
New Mexico
New Mexico St 11/29/14 2:00 PM
Arkansas State
UAB 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Southern Miss
(4) Miss State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(18) Ole Miss
Notre Dame 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(10) Michigan State 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Penn State
(22) Minnesota 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(14) Wisconsin
(5) Baylor 11/29/14 2:30 PM
Texas Tech
Florida 11/29/14 2:30 PM
(1) Florida State
Rutgers 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Jose St 11/29/14 2:30 PM
San Diego St
Tennessee 11/29/14 3:00 PM
Kansas 11/29/14 3:00 PM
(11) Kansas State
Connecticut 11/29/14 3:00 PM
BYU 11/29/14 3:30 PM
ULM 11/29/14 5:00 PM
Ga Southern
Middle Tennessee 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Hawaii 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Fresno State
Wake Forest 11/29/14 6:00 PM
Pittsburgh 11/29/14 6:00 PM
(15) Auburn 11/29/14 6:45 PM
(2) Alabama
(3) Oregon 11/29/14 7:00 PM
Oregon State
Utah State 11/29/14 9:15 PM
(25) Boise State
Washington 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Washington St
Nevada 11/29/14 9:30 PM
Montreal 24 FINAL
Hamilton 40
Edmonton 18 FINAL
Calgary 43
Grambling 51 FINAL
George Washington 89
Saint Louis 57 FINAL
Vanderbilt 75
NW Nazarene 69 FINAL
Idaho State 88
Millersville 14 1st Half 7:02
Delaware State 25
NC State 5:00 PM
Harvard 0 1st Half 20:00
(2) Notre Dame 0
Austin Peay 0 1st Half 20:00
Chattanooga 0
Brescia 0 1st Half 20:00
Morehead St 0
Tennessee St 6:00 PM
(4) Tennessee
Troy 6:00 PM
Florida A&M
Sam Houston St 6:00 PM
South Dakota St
UNC Greensboro 6:00 PM
Rhode Island 6:00 PM
Western State 6:00 PM
Northern Colorado
TX A&M-CC 6:00 PM
Cornell 6:00 PM
St Johns 6:00 PM
Bradley 6:00 PM
Stony Brook
Mount Ida 6:00 PM
UMass Lowell
Thomas (GA) 6:00 PM
Georgia State
Loyola-Maryland 6:00 PM
(10) Maryland
Barton 6:00 PM
Campbell 6:00 PM
Western Carolina
North Florida 6:00 PM
Prairie View 7:00 PM
(7) Texas A&M
Eastern Washington 7:00 PM
Abilene Christian
Missouri State 7:00 PM
Oral Roberts
Cal-Irvine 7:00 PM
South Dakota
Quinnipiac 7:00 PM
Holy Cross
East Tenn St 7:05 PM
Indiana State
(5) Stanford 8:00 PM
New Mexico
Sacramento St 8:00 PM
St Marys-CA
Cal State Fullerton 8:00 PM
Weber State
Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters





question of the day

Poll: What do you think of the new Twins home uniforms?

Weekly Question