HOUSTON — Trey Mancini homered for the second straight game, a three-run homer that led the Houston Astros to a 6-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
Mancini, who hit a two-run homer Wednesday, has six home runs and 16 RBIs in 18 games since being traded by the Orioles.
“That’s why he’s hitting where he’s hitting, because I expected him to have some runners in front of him,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s why I hit (Christian) Vazquez before him, because he’s been getting base hits. But that was huge.”
The Twins have lost a season-high six games and went 0-6 against the AL West-leading Astros this season.
“We have to go out there and play that complete baseball that we’ve been talking about,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. lately. But we have to fix it.”
The game was tied at 1 in the first when Mancini connected off Chris Archer (2-7) on his throw to the left-field seats.
“If he could have run one or two pitches, it would have been a lot different,” Archer said. “So, yeah, I’m disappointed, for sure.”
Jeremy Peña hit an RBI double with two outs in the eighth inning for Houston to make it 6-3.
Luis Garcia (11-8) allowed five hits and three runs with five strikeouts in five innings for his third straight win. Rafael Montero struck out one in a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
“That was the best bullpen night we’ve had in a long time,” Baker said. “It was relatively clean, guys had clean innings. I don’t think we got a lot of walks. It was an outstanding job on their part.”
Carlos Correa had a forgettable series in his first games against Houston since leaving the Astros after seven seasons to sign with the Twins. He went 0-for-4 on Thursday night to finish the series 1-for-11.
Jorge Polanco gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead with his two-out home run to right field in the first inning.
José Altuve hit a leadoff double in the bottom of the inning and Yuli Gurriel hit an infield single. Yordan Alvarez then rolled for a double play that Altuve scored to tie it at 1.
Alex Bregman and Vazquez hit back-to-back singles before Mancini’s homer put the Astros ahead.
Nick Gordon hit a 3-pointer to start the second and scored on Garcia’s wild pitch to cut the score to 4-2.
Bregman doubled with one out in the third and the Astros extended the lead to 5-2 on Vazquez’s RBI single.
Gary Sánchez doubled before advancing to third on Gilberto Celestino’s single with no outs in the fifth. A sacrifice fly by Luis Arraez sent Sanchez to the plate as Minnesota pulled within 5-3.
Archer allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings.
Twins: In the wake of OF Byron Buxton’s injury, Minnesota signed speedy OF Billy Hamilton to a minor league deal on Thursday. Hamilton had seven stolen bases in just 20 games with the Marlins this season and has 321 in his 10-year career.
Astros: They placed closer Ryan Pressly on the disabled list with neck spasms on Thursday, retroactive to Monday. … RHP Seth Martinez was called up from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his place on the roster. … OF Chas McCormick will likely miss a couple of games after dislocating his right little finger Wednesday night. … OF Kyle Tucker missed the game with sore left foot.
UNTIL NEXT TIME
Twins: Joe Ryan (9-6, 3.86 ERA) will start Game 1 of a series against San Francisco on Friday night against Alex Wood (8-10, 4.54).
Astros: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 2.45) will face Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish (1-5, 6.25) on Friday night in the first of three games against the Orioles.