Apr 5, 2023; Houston, Texas, USA; Houston Astros center fielder Chas McCormick (20) celebrates with third base coach Gary Pettis (8) after hitting a home run during the second inning against the Detroit Tigers at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports
Houston Astros avoid sweep, chop down Twins 5-1 behind hot bat of Chas McCormick
The Houston Astros avoided a series sweep at the hands of the Minnesota Twins by beating them 5-1 on Sunday afternoon at Target Field.
The bulk of Houston’s offense came courtesy of center fielder Chas McCormick, who starred as the team’s leadoff hitter against the Twins. He went 2-for-5, including a two-run home run in the top of the third inning, to help lift the Astros to the victory.
Too much Chas
McCormick continues to make it harder and harder for the Astros (4-6) not to make him a consistent starter in the team’s lineup. He accounted for four RBIs against Minnesota (6-3) on Sunday.
In addition to the home run in the third inning, McCormick also singled to center at the top of the fifth inning to plate Jeremy Peña and Mauricio Dubón.
Peña first got on base by singling to left to open the inning. Dubón doubled to right with two outs after Corey Julks and Yainer Diaz struck out, setting the stage for McCormick.
Brown hunts down Twins
Pitcher Hunter Brown picked up his first win of the season against Minnesota. He hurled seven innings, giving up no earned runs and striking out seven.
Minnesota’s lone run of the game was set up by a throwing error from third baseman Alex Bregman. It came at the bottom of the fourth inning when Byron Buxton reached base on an infield single.
Bregman attempted to throw Buxton out at first after making a diving catch on the hit, but instead, he threw it past first baseman Jose Abreu, which allowed Buxton to get to second. He later came to score on a double from Donovan Solano.
News and Notes
• The Astros got an insurance run at the top of the eighth inning when Peña doubled to left field, which brought Yordan Alvarez home to make it 5-1 in favor of Houston. Peña went 2-for-4 on Sunday.
•Pitcher Bryan Abreu took over for Brown in the eighth inning. He struck out three Minnesota batters to set up Ryan Pressly, who closed the game with a one, two, three ninth inning.
•Both Diaz and Dubón also went 2-for-4 against Minnesota. Dubón scored twice.
•Every Astros starter reached base safely today. They also did that on March 31.
•Houston manager Dusty Baker said the Astros are hoping to get outfielder Michael Brantley back around the first week of May or possibly late April. He will be required to go through a Minor League rehab assignment first, per the team.
The Astros will leave Minneapolis and head straight to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where they will start a three-game series against the Pirates on Monday.
The first pitch is slated for 5:35 p.m. CT. Framber Valdez (0-1) is expected on the mound for Houston. Roansy Contreras (1-0) is slated to get the start against the Astros.