Red-hot Bregman carries Astros over Twins

HOUSTON--Alex Bregman homered for the fourth time in five games, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game home sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 9-1 win on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.
Minnesota Twins designated hitter Willians Astudillo (64) rounds the bases after hitting a home run as Houston Astros shortstop Alex Bregman (2) looks on during the fifth inning at Minute Maid ParK on Wednesday night. Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

HOUSTON-Alex Bregman homered for the fourth time in five games, and the Houston Astros completed a three-game home sweep of the Minnesota Twins with a 9-1 win on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

Bregman, who had his streak of consecutive games with a homer snapped at three on Tuesday despite hitting three doubles in the that game, knocked in five runs Wednesday. He smashed a two-run homer to left field with two outs in the second inning, giving the Astros a 2-0 lead, and he added a three-run double in the eighth.

The home run was Bregman's team-leading 29th of the season. The shortstop also walked twice.

Astros designated hitter Evan Gattis, mired in a 3-for-28 slump that resulted in diminished at-bats, drilled a two-run homer in the fourth inning to increase the lead to 4-0. The 430-foot shot to left, Gattis' 25th, also came with two outs against Twins right-hander Jake Odorizzi.

With two outs in the fifth, Odorizzi (5-10) departed after surrendering a run-scoring single to Yuli Gurriel.

Houston's Jose Altuve snapped an 0-for-19 skid with an RBI single in the sixth that scored Geore Springer, who went 3-for-5 with three runs. The Astros extended their winning streak to five games and capped a 10-game homestand at 7-3.

Rookie left-hander Framber Valdez (3-1) battled his control but lasted long enough to secure a decision. He pitched a career-high 5 1/3 innings, allowing one run on five hits and three walks with career-best five strikeouts.

Valdez issued four-pitch walks to Logan Forsythe and Robbie Grossman in the first inning yet escaped that frame unscathed. In the second, he walked Ehire Adrianza on four pitches yet rallied to strand a pair of baserunners.

It wasn't until Twins designated hitter Willians Astudillo homered with one out in the fifth that Minnesota broke through. Of the 88 pitches Valdez tossed, 45 were strikes.

Five Houston relievers blanked the Twins on one hit over the last 3 2/3 innings.

Odorizzi gave up five runs on four hits and four walks in 4 2/3 innings. He fanned four.