Stone Cold: Astros come undone in 10th, fall to Twins 3-2

Apr 7, 2023; Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Jose Urquidy (65) pitches to the Minnesota Twins in the first inning at Target Field. Mandatory Credit: Matt Blewett-USA TODAY Sports

Stone Cold: Astros come undone in 10th, fall to Twins 3-2

On a cold, windy day in Minneapolis, the Houston Astros bats were colder as they blew a 10th inning lead, falling to the Minnesota Twins, 3-2.

Houston did not threaten in any innings except when they scored single runs in the third and tenth. Astros batters struck out a ridiculous 16 times in the game while earning only five hits and two walks.

Jose Urquidy was better in his second start of the season, primarily because he was able to work his way out of the trouble he kept getting himself into with some timely pitches. Houston’s poor offensive performance gave the pitching staff no room for error whatsoever, and it ultimately doomed them.

Jose Urquidy toughed his way through this start.

After cruising through the first two innings in order, Urquidy began to run into trouble in the third. He allowed a pair of two-out hits before getting out of the jam.

He found himself in a two-on, one-out jam and a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the fourth, but again found a way out. He also escaped a leadoff double in the fifth.

In the sixth, He would allow a pair of singles with one out before giving way to Bryan Abreu.

Urquidy didn’t have great stuff, as his fastball generally sat at 91, which is low for him. It also creates less of a disparity between his fastball and his changeup (84-85 mph, making the changeup less effective as well.

However, he battled hard and got some critical strikeouts and ground balls to keep the Astros in the game on a day where Twins starter Sonny Gray was brilliant.

Sonny Gray had the Astros number.

Gray was absolutely incredible in this game. He went seven innings, allowing just four hits, one run, and struck out a career-high 13.

The only Astros run came when Mauricio Dubón led off the third inning with a double. Martín Maldonado sacrificed him to third. With one out, Bregman singled to right on a ball that Twins right fielder Joey Gallo misplayed, scoring Dubon.

The Astros did not even threaten in any other inning with Gray in the game.

Tough day for Jeremy Peña.

One of Jeremy Peña’s old habits really showed its face in this game, chasing sliders outside the zone. Peña struck out four times in this game, including the first three times on sliders that were low and away. In his fourth at-bat, he again struck out on a slider, but this one was near the borderline of the bottom of the zone. He finished 0-5 in the game.

Peña did play his customary terrific defense, including pulling off a 6-6-3 double play in the seventh, doubling up his predecessor Carlos Correa in the seventh.

Stanek couldn’t control the 10th.

Ryne Stanek was trusted to save the game for the Astros in the tenth, but he was unable to do so. Stanek’s command was off, and he was notably wild. He crossed up Maldonado several times, including twice on fastballs that were very high on pitches Maldonado was expecting the ball down that ended up popping off of Maldonado’s glove for wild pitches. One advanced the runner from second to third with one out; that run would later tie the game. The second advanced runners from first and second to second and third, and the lead runner would score the winning run.

News and Notes:

It was a cold day in Minneapolis, with a game-time temperature of 47 degrees. It was windy and the wind played havoc with fly balls and pop-ups, creating some adventures for fielders. Joey Gallo misplayed Alex Bregman’s fly ball into an RBI single in the third. A few balls fell in for hits as the wind batted the balls down earlier than normal.

Ryan Pressly was called for a pitch clock violation in the ninth. Pressly was visibly upset, wanting to know why he was called for the violation, but did not let it impact him. He struck out the side in the ninth in order.

After Gray’s electric performance in this game, the Twins’ starting rotation’s ERA through seven games is 1.12.

Up Next:

The Astros (3-5) look to get back in the win column tomorrow as they play the second of their three-game series against the Twins (5-2).

Luis Garcia (0-1, 5.40 ERA) opposes Joe Ryan (1-0, 1.50 ERA). First pitch from Target Field in Minneapolis Saturday is 1:10 p.m.

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