Hit-hitting Twins meet hotter-hitting Astros

Hit-hitting Twins meet hotter-hitting Astros

The Houston Astros lead the major leagues in hitting at .280, so they haven't had to rely on Tyler White's bat to keep their offense going. Still, his production would be a welcome addition.

In the Astros' 10-4 victory over the Minnesota Twins Tuesday at Minute Maid Park, White continued to show he is emerging from a slump. He finished 2-for-2 with a walk and two runs scored, extending his streak of reaching base safely to seven consecutive plate appearances. It marked his second consecutive multi-hit game, with White recording as many hits over the first two games of the series with the Twins as he did over the previous eight games combined, a stretch that included White slashing .167/.310/.208 with one extra-base hit.

When the Astros face the Twins in the rubber game Wednesday, White should get another shot to showcase that he has found his swing and to punch up an already potent Houston lineup.

"His body control in the batter's box is a little bit better," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of White, who improved his on-base percentage to .435. "I think the ball is traveling (and) he's getting some hits to right field, which is key. He's laying off some pitches. Generally, when these guys come in and out of streakiness it's about zone control and pitch selection.

"That's oversimplified but it's very critical. It's hard to hit at this level when you're in swing mode, swinging at everything. His timing is a little bit better -- he's hitting it to the right place -- and as they shift him, he's beat the shift a couple times. Just more productive at-bats, a few extra walks and all in all a better approach."

Right-hander Justin Verlander (3-0, 3.00 ERA) will start the series finale Wednesday for Houston. He allowed one run on three hits and three walks with eight strikeouts over seven innings in his previous outing, a 7-2 win over Texas on April 19. Verlander is 19-9 with a 3.00 ERA over 36 career starts against the Twins, including a 2-0 record and 0.64 ERA in 2018.

Right-hander Kohl Stewart will be recalled from Triple-A Rochester to start for the Twins in the series finale. Stewart, a Houston native who attended St. Pius X High School, was 2-1 with a 3.68 ERA over eight appearances (four starts) following his major-league debut on Aug. 12, 2018. He pitched in relief against the Astros on Sept. 4 at Minute Maid Park, working five scoreless innings while allowing three hits and one walk with three strikeouts in a 5-2 loss.

Twins left fielder Eddie Rosario continued his torrid three-week stretch Tuesday night, socking his 10th home run while extending his RBI total to 23 since April 2 with a three-run blast in the first inning off Astros left-hander Wade Miley. Rosario, who went 1-for-4, was batting .319 with 16 runs, four doubles and four walks over his previous 17 games.

He became the first player in Twins history to reach double digits in homers prior to May 1, and Rosario joined Carlos Delgado as the only Puerto Ricans to achieve that feat. Delgado did so with the Toronto Blue Jays in 2001.

"I am so proud for myself," Rosario said. "First time a Twins player hit 10 home runs before May, I feel proud. It's good for me."

The Twins are second in the major leagues with a .272 team average.

--Field Level Media
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