The Houston Astros, arguably major league baseball's unloved in 2020, knocked out the Minnesota Twins with a 3-1 win Wednesday afternoon to advance to the second round of the playoffs.
This is an unexpected scenario for the Texan team, which had a rather difficult season with a 29-31 record after being plunged into the heart of a signal theft scandal dating back to 2017 and 2018. The manager AJ Hinch had to leave the organization in January, just like general manager Jeff Luhnow.
By beating the Twins in two small games (2 of 3), the Astros of manager Dusty Baker come to prove that they still have the elements to win in the playoffs.
In Wednesday's game, shortstop Carlos Correa notably hit a solo homerun in the seventh inning to produce the winning run. Earlier in the game, Correa had helped on the defense by throwing the ball to wide receiver Martin Maldonado to pin an opponent who was trying to score. Kyle Tucker produced the other two points for the winners.
Javier in relief
At the mound, Baker and the Astros were daring in using a long relief starting pitcher in a second straight game. This time, young Cristian Javier shut out the Twins for three innings before Ryan Pressly came to sign the save. Tuesday, Framber Valdez had muzzled the formation of Minnesota for five innings to conclude the meeting.
In the next round, the Astros will face the series winners between the Oakland Athletics and the Chicago White Sox. Quebecer Abraham Toro was one of the players available for the Astros in the series against the Twins, but he was not used.