Fiers strikes out 11 as Astros top twins

July 16, 2017 at 10:51 p.m.
Updated July 16, 2017 at 10:58 p.m.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers throws against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a game Sunday in Houston.

Houston Astros starting pitcher Mike Fiers throws against the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of a game Sunday in Houston.    AP for The Victoria Advocate

HOUSTON - On a day when Houston's powerful hitters were lagging, the Astros found a way to generate runs in another way.

Mike Fiers struck out a season-high 11 over seven strong innings and Nori Aoki had two hits and two RBIs to help the Astros beat the Minnesota Twins 5-3 on Sunday.

The AL West leaders took two of three from the Twins coming out of the All-Star break.

Houston trailed in the fourth before Yuli Gurriel doubled, Marwin Gonzalez walked and Aoki hit a two-run double for a 3-2 lead.

The Astros added a couple of insurance runs in the seventh thanks to alert baserunning. Jake Marisnick walked, stole second base and scored on an error by first baseman Kennys Vargas. Jose Altuve doubled, stole third and dashed home when Josh Reddick was thrown out at first on a third strike that got away.

"We were dragging a little bit today," manager A.J. Hinch said. "We couldn't quite get a ton going, we haven't been as active on the bases as we can be, but it shows that when we needed to win a game in a different way than we've won in the last couple months we've still got that weapon."

Twins manager Paul Molitor lamented his team's inability to handle Houston's running in the seventh.

"They made some really aggressive plays and put some pressure on us, and we couldn't stop them," he said.

Fiers (6-4) allowed two runs on four hits and no walks. He had walked eight combined in his last two starts.

"The key right there is command," he said. "When you can command all your pitches any pitch feels really confident going out there. Just command and keeping them off balance and just making good pitches. Even if they're sitting on a pitch if you throw it in the right spot it's still hard to hit."

Royals 4, Rangers 3

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Texas right fielder Shin-Soo Choo lost Lorenzo Cain's routine fly in the sun, and the ball glanced off his glove for a tiebreaking RBI single with two outs in the ninth as Kansas City stooped a five-game losing streak overall and a 12-game skid against Texas.

Cubs 8, Orioles 0

BALTIMORE - Jose Quintana dazzled in his debut for the Chicago Cubs, striking out a season-high 12 in seven innings to beat the Baltimore Orioles 8-0 Sunday for a three-game sweep.

Dodgers 3, Marlins 2

MIAMI - Justin Turner homered and singled to increase his batting average to .374, and Los Angeles won for the 29th time in 33 games, including nine in a row.

Nationals 14, Reds 4


Adam Lind and Jose Lobaton added two-run shots and Anthony Rendon had a solo homer, his third home run in two games, to help the Nationals to their fourth straight victory.

Yankees 3, Red Sox 0

BOSTON - CC Sabathia (8-3) allowed two hits over six innings, and Didi Gregorius hit a solo home run around the Pesky Pole in the opener of a day-night doubleheader.

Tigers 6, Blue Jays 5

DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera walked with the bases loaded in the 11th inning Sunday, giving the Detroit Tigers a 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

Rockies 13, Mets 4

NEW YORK - Charlie Blackmon was credited with an inside-the-park home run - even though his drive actually cleared the orange line atop left-center field fence - and Gerardo Parra also went deep to help the Rockies win for only the sixth time in 21 games.

Braves 7, Diamondbacks 1

ATLANTA - Matt Kemp hit a three-run homer and Brandon Phillips doubled three times as Atlanta completed a three-game sweep and sent Arizona to its season-high fifth straight loss.

Pirates 4, Cardinals 3

PITTSBURGH - Adam Frazier's game-ending single capped a two-run rally in the ninth against Brett Cecil (1-3), who also gave up Jordy Mercer's RBI double.

Mariners 7, White Sox 6

CHICAGO - Nelson Cruz homered on a 3-0 pitch from Chris Beck (1-1) leading off the 10th inning, his 19th home run this season, as Seattle overcame a 5-0 deficit and won its fourth straight. Chicago has lost four in a row.

Angels 4, Rays 3

ANAHEIM, Calif. - Trailing 4-2, the Rays scored once in the ninth and loaded the bases with one out. Bud Norris got Tim Beckham to ground into a double play for his 14th save, ending Tampa Bay's four-game winning streak.

David Hernandez (1-0) pitched a scoreless inning as Los Angeles avoided a three-game sweep.

Athletics 7, Indians 3

OAKLAND, Calif. - Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer got just two outs in a four-run first inning and matched the shortest start of his big league career as the Oakland completed a surprising three-game sweep of AL Central-leading Cleveland.




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