The Minnesota Twins showed their resilience and offensive firepower in a crucial 6-2 victory over the Houston Astros on Sunday night, evening the best-of-five American League Division Series at one game apiece. The Twins, who had lost the series opener 6-4 on Saturday, bounced back with a strong performance from their ace Pablo López and a clutch hitting display from Carlos Correa and Kyle Farmer.
López silences Astros’ bats
The Twins’ hopes of avoiding a 0-2 hole rested largely on the shoulders of López, who had been one of the best pitchers in the AL this season. The right-hander did not disappoint, as he tossed seven scoreless innings, allowing only four hits and one walk while striking out six. López used his fastball and changeup effectively to keep the Astros off balance and induce 11 groundouts.
López was especially dominant in the early innings, as he retired the first nine batters he faced and did not allow a hit until the fourth inning. He also escaped a jam in the sixth, when he stranded two runners on base with a strikeout of Yuli Gurriel. López improved his postseason record to 2-0 with a 0.82 ERA in two starts this year.
Correa shines against former team
Correa, who had spent his entire career with the Astros before signing with the Twins as a free agent last winter, had a memorable night against his former club. The shortstop went 3-for-4 with three RBIs, including a two-run single in the first inning that gave the Twins an early lead. He also doubled home another run in the fifth inning to make it 4-0.
Correa also made history with his performance, as he tied David Justice for third place on the all-time postseason RBI list with 63. He now trails only Bernie Williams (80) and Manny Ramirez (78) in that category. Correa has been one of the best October hitters of his generation, as he has a career .296/.368/.571 slash line with 18 homers and 63 RBIs in 75 playoff games.
Farmer provides insurance with homer
Farmer, who had been inserted into the lineup as the designated hitter for Game 2, delivered a big blow in the eighth inning to put the game out of reach. The utility man blasted a two-run homer off Astros reliever Cristian Javier to extend the Twins’ lead to 6-0. It was Farmer’s first career postseason homer and his second hit of the night.
Farmer’s homer proved to be crucial, as the Astros mounted a late rally in the bottom of the eighth. They scored two runs off Twins reliever Tyler Duffey, thanks to an RBI double by José Altuve and an RBI single by Michael Brantley. However, Taylor Rogers came in to stop the bleeding and preserve the four-run lead. Rogers then worked a scoreless ninth inning to seal the win and earn his second save of this postseason.
The series shifts to Target Field in Minneapolis for Game 3 on Tuesday, with first pitch scheduled for 4 p.m. ET/3 CT on FOX. The Twins will send left-hander J.A. Happ to the mound, while the Astros will counter with right-hander Luis García. Happ was 12-8 with a 3.76 ERA in 31 starts this season, while García was 14-7 with a 3.30 ERA in 30 starts.