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Minnesota Twins shortstop Eduardo Escobar is congratulated by teammate Joe Mauer after scoring a run in the fourth inning against the Houston Astros on Monday. USA Today Sports

Twins triumph in Mauer's return

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HOUSTON – Joe Mauer made his return from the disabled list a triumphant one, extending his long-delayed hitting streak while also driving in the winning run in the ninth inning of the Minnesota Twins’ 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Monday night at Minute Maid Park.

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Despite missing 34 games with a strained right oblique, first baseman Mauer reached base three times in his first game since landing on the 15-day DL. His RBI single off Astros right-hander Josh Fields (2-5) plated left fielder Jordan Schafer, with second baseman Brian Dozier scoring from first base on the play when Astros left fielder Domingo Santana inexplicably held the ball long enough for Dozier to round third base.

The Twins (53-64) missed an opportunity to forge ahead in the eighth inning when third baseman Trevor Plouffe was thrown out at home trying to score on a Chris Parmelee single to right. Astros right fielder Robbie Grossman recorded the assist to preserve the 2-2 deadlock.

The Twins’ bullpen proved formidable in relief of left-hander Tommy Milone, who made his first start since being acquired by the Twins in a trade with Oakland two weeks ago.

Left-hander Brian Duensing (3-2) earning the victory in advance of closer Glen Perkins, who picked up his 29thsave by working around a one-out single by center fielder Jake Marisnick in the ninth.

Given his struggles, Astros right-hander Brad Peacock had to take his outing against the Twins as a positive despite his elevated pitch count.

Minnesota managed just two runs, one earned, against Peacock over five innings, with that lone earned run coming in the first inning after the Twins loaded the bases with no outs. Peacock rallied to retire the final three batters he faced in the inning, surrendering only a run-scoring fielder’s choice to Plouffe.

MIN ab r h bi HOU ab r h bi

Santana cf 5 1 3 0 Grossmn rf 5 0 0 0

Dozier 2b 4 1 1 0 Altuve 2b 4 1 2 1

Mauer 1b 4 0 2 2 Carter dh 3 1 1 1

Vargas dh 5 0 1 0 Domnguz 3b 4 0 1 0

Plouffe 3b 4 0 1 1 Castro c 4 0 0 0

Suzuki c 4 0 0 0 Santana lf 4 0 0 0

Parml rf 4 0 1 0 Snglton 1b 3 0 1 0

Escobar ss 3 1 2 0 Mrsnck cf 4 0 4 0

Schafer lf 3 1 0 0 Petit ss 3 0 0 0

Totals 36 4 11 3 Totals 34 2 9 2

Minnesota 100 100 002 — 4

Houston 100 010 000 — 2

E—J.Buchanan 1, Milone 1, Peacock 1. LOB—Houston 8, Minnesota 9. 2B—Dozier (23), E.Escobar (31), Mauer (18). HR—Altuve (5), Carter (26). SB—Schafer (5). CS—Marisnick (1), Da.Santana (3).

IP H R ER BB SO

Minnesota

Milone 6 8 2 2 3 5

Pressly 1 Z\c 0 0 0 0 1

Duensing W, 3-2 X\c 0 0 0 0 1

Perkins S, 29 1 1 0 0 0 1

Houston

Peacock 5 7 2 1 1 5

J.Buchanan 3 3 0 0 1 1

Fields L, 2-5 1 1 2 2 2 2

Umpires—Home, Bob Davidson; First, Bill Welke; Second, James Hoye; Third, Adrian Johnson.

T—3:20. A—15,569 (43,836)

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