|Peacock gets nod for Astros at home vs. Twins|
Houston Astros manager A.J. Hinch is forever adamant about stressing the significance of quality at-bats and remains an ardent supporter of his team's ability to compile them no matter the circumstance and against any opposing pitcher.
While dropping the rubber match of their three-game series against the Texas Rangers Sunday in Arlington, the Astros showcased that collective skill, rallying from a nine-run deficit and placing the go-ahead runner on second base in the ninth inning of their 11-10 loss. Houston, which will open a seven-game homestand Monday by hosting the Minnesota Twins in the first game of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park, slugged five solo home runs while mounting the comeback, making something out of nothing to build momentum, even in defeat.
"We try to put together those same quality at-bats every game, first inning, ninth inning, whatever," said third baseman Alex Bregman, who homered in the Astros' five-run sixth inning. "We did a really good job of that."
Said right fielder Josh Reddick, who slugged a homer in the eighth: "We've got to build on that, especially after doing so well on the road trip and hitting the wall the last couple of games. It's definitely a positive to see us come back like that, but fell a little short."
Right-hander Brad Peacock (2-0, 3.94 ERA) returns to the rotation for the Astros following a pair of relief appearances brought upon by scheduled days off. Peacock allowed five runs on seven hits and one walk over five innings in his previous start on April 7 against Oakland. He did not factor into the decision in the Astros' 9-8 victory. Peacock did win in relief five days later in Seattle when he worked 3 1/3 innings and allowed two runs (one earned) on one hit and one walk with seven strikeouts in a 10-6 victory. He is 0-2 with a 4.05 ERA over seven career appearances (three starts) against the Twins, including an 0-1 record and 2.70 ERA over four relief appearances last season.
Right-hander Jake Odorizzi (1-2, 4.76 ERA) will start the series opener for the Twins. Odorizzi snapped a three-start winless streak on April 17 against the Blue Jays, limiting Toronto to one run on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings in a 4-1 victory at Target Field. He is 3-1 with a 2.12 ERA over five career starts against the Astros but allowed six runs on nine hits over 10 2/3 innings in two starts against Houston in 2018, posting a 1-1 mark and 5.06 ERA.
The Twins capped a three-game sweep in Baltimore with a 4-3 win over the Orioles Sunday, their fourth victory in five games. Minnesota did not homer in the series finale after bashing 11 dingers while sweeping a doubleheader at Camden Yards Saturday. The Twins lengthened their lineup during the offseason with the addition of veteran sluggers Nelson Cruz and C.J. Cron and will arrive in Houston boasting seven players with at least three home runs. Left fielder Eddie Rosario (nine home runs) and catcher Mitch Garver (five) have combined for 14 homers.
"We have guys that have a long track record of hitting," Twins manager Rocco Baldelli said to MLB.com. "We have some younger players who are really coming into their own offensively. We might never see another night like that ever again, but as far as the consistent good ABs, I would expect to see that continuing."
--Field Level Media