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Houston at Minnesota

Scoreboard
Houston (28-36) «01130041414130
Minnesota (29-32)0001202005102

Carter, Singleton power Astros to rout over Twins

CBSSports.com wire reports
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MINNEAPOLIS -- After three straight 100-loss seasons, the Houston Astros' lineup is suddenly filled with sluggers who can change a game with one swing.

Chris Carter and Jon Singleton hit their first career grand slams to power Houston to a 14-5 victory over the Minnesota Twins on Sunday.

Carter's slam in the seventh inning sailed over the limestone overhang in right field and gave Houston a 9-3 lead. Singleton lined a fastball off Glen Perkins over the right-field wall that made it 14-5 in the ninth.

Dexter Fowler and George Springer also homered for the Astros. Houston has now hit 69 homers this season, well on pace to surpass last season's total of 148, third-worst in the American League.

''It puts more strain on the opposing pitchers,'' Astros manager Bo Porter said. ''They feel like, `I can't make a mistake here, I can't make a mistake here.' That can drain on a staff.''

The only other time two Astros players hit grand slams in the same game was July 30, 1969, at New York when Denis Menke and Jimmy Wynn both hit slams in an 11-run ninth inning against the Mets.

Houston players are also sensing a different vibe now that the lineup is filled with more power.

''It's been fun. We like playing off of each other,'' Singleton said. ''That's definitely a bonus. When one person does well, it carries over and it's contagious.''

Darin Downs (1-0) got the last eight outs as the third reliever to follow starter Colin McHugh, who fanned six and allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings. He walked five and was removed after throwing 101 pitches.

Trevor Plouffe and Josh Willingham hit RBI singles as Minnesota made it 5-3 in the fifth, but couldn't get any closer before Carter and Singleton powered the game away.

Houston batted around in the fourth inning, scoring three runs after Samuel Deduno (2-4) loaded the bases with nobody out by walking two batters and hitting another.

The Astros have won seven of eight on the road and 11 of their last 15 overall as they try to snap a three-year streak of losing 100 games.

It was the third time in club history Minnesota allowed two grand slams in the same game. The last time it happened was April 22, 1988, in Cleveland.

''They got us today,'' Perkins said. ''I think they swing hard in case they hit it, and they hit them today. Theyre not as bad as people think they are. Gotta give credit to them the way they swing the bat and pitch the ball pretty well.''

The Twins also officially signed free-agent designated hitter/first-baseman Kendrys Morales on Sunday to bolster their inconsistent offense.

But if Minnesota -- now three games under .500 -- wants to remain in the playoff race, it's going to need better starting pitching.

Deduno walked four and hit two while allowing five runs in three innings on Sunday, raising his ERA to 4.45.

As a group, Minnesota's starters are 19-25 with a 4.97 ERA.

''Not a good day pitching today. Used a lot of innings out there,'' Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. ''We still have three games to go [before the next off day], so we'll get through it. Thats the way it is. They killed it at the end.''

McHugh struck out four batters in a row during one stretch and extended his scoreless innings streak to a career-high 16 2/3 before Eduardo Nunez homered in the fourth.

Springer, named American League rookie of the month after hitting 10 home runs in May, led off the eighth by hitting his second homer in three games.

''It's nice to have other guys in the lineup who do the same thing and have more protection where guys can't just pitch around me or pitch around another guy,'' said Carter, who led Houston with 29 homers last season. ''There's another guy behind him always. It's good for all of us.''

Notes

To make room on the roster for Morales, Minnesota released Jason Kubel, who appeared in 798 games over parts of eight seasons with the Twins, but was hitting .224 this year and just .158 since April. ... The Astros recalled LHP Rudy Owens to pitch out of the bullpen and sent Paul Clemens back to Triple-A Oklahoma City for the sixth time this season. ... The Twins unveiled a new bronze statue on the Target Plaza before the game: team mascot T.C. Bear. ... Jonathan Villar singled three times for Houston. ... Ricky Nolasco (4-5, 5.65 ERA) starts for the Twins against Toronto's R.A. Dickey (6-4, 4.25 ERA) on Monday. ... Houston's Jarred Cosart (4-5, 4.16 ERA) faces Josh Collmenter (4-2, 3.63 ERA) to kick off a two-game series in Arizona on Monday.

 
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
 
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Players of the Game
Minnesota

E. Nunez
AB 5
R 1
H 3
HR 1
RBI 2
Houston

J. Singleton
AB 6
R 2
H 2
HR 1
RBI 4
 
Houston Astros
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Dexter Fowler, CF5222101 .277
Jose Altuve, 2B3011103 .315
George Springer, RF3211203 .251
Jon Singleton, 1B6224035 .200
Matt Dominguez, 3B5100124 .245
Robbie Grossman, LF3320200 .198
Chris Carter, DH4214022 .194
Carlos Corporan, C4111110 .194
Jonathan Villar, SS5131011 .205
Collin McHugh, P0000000 .000
   Josh Fields, P0000000 .000
   Kyle Farnsworth, P0000000 .000
   Darin Downs, P0000000 .000
Totals3814131489  
Batting
2B - Jon Singleton (1, Duensing), Robbie Grossman (4, Fien)
HR - Dexter Fowler (4, Deduno), George Springer (12, Fien), Jon Singleton (2, Perkins), Chris Carter (10, Duensing)
SF - Jose Altuve (3)
RBI - Dexter Fowler 2 (19), Jose Altuve (21), George Springer (35), Jon Singleton 4 (6), Chris Carter 4 (27), Carlos Corporan (11), Jonathan Villar (18)
2-OUT RBI - Jon Singleton 4 (4), Carlos Corporan (4)
SB - Jose Altuve 2 (23, 2nd base off Deduno/Pinto), Robbie Grossman (3, 3rd base off Deduno/Pinto)
Team LOB - 9
Fielding
DP - Villar-Singleton
Houston Astros
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Collin McHugh 4.1333561 2.82
Josh Fields 1.2300040 6.04
Kyle Farnsworth 0.1222200 3.80
Darin Downs (W,1-0) 2.2200020 1.32
WP - Collin McHugh (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Collin McHugh 101-57, Josh Fields 39-26, Kyle Farnsworth 21-11, Darin Downs 30-22
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Collin McHugh 1-5, Josh Fields 1-0, Darin Downs 2-4
Batters Faced - Collin McHugh 20, Josh Fields 8, Kyle Farnsworth 5, Darin Downs 10
Minnesota Twins
HittersABRHRBIBBSOLOBAVG
Danny Santana, CF5010012 .361
Brian Dozier, 2B2210300 .245
Trevor Plouffe, 3B4121113 .250
Josh Willingham, LF3012111 .306
Oswaldo Arcia, DH4000133 .265
Eduardo Nunez, RF5132012 .291
Chris Parmelee, 1B5010023 .164
Josmil Pinto, C4010013 .222
Eduardo Escobar, SS3100121 .304
Samuel Deduno, P0000000 .000
   Anthony Swarzak, P0000000 .000
   Brian Duensing, P0000000 .000
   Casey Fien, P0000000 .000
   Glen Perkins, P0000000 .000
Totals355105712  
Batting
2B - Brian Dozier (11, Downs)
HR - Eduardo Nunez (2, McHugh)
SF - Josh Willingham (2)
RBI - Trevor Plouffe (36), Josh Willingham 2 (15), Eduardo Nunez 2 (10)
2-OUT RBI - Eduardo Nunez (7)
Team LOB - 11
Fielding
Outfield Assists - Eduardo Nunez 1
DP - Dozier-Escobar-Parmelee, Dozier-Escobar-Parmelee-Nunez-Dozier-Parmelee
E - Brian Dozier (4, Misplayed grounder), Josmil Pinto (5, Throwing)
Minnesota Twins
PitchersIPHRERBBSOHRERA
Samuel Deduno (L,2-4) 3355411 4.45
Anthony Swarzak 3300220 4.06
Brian Duensing 1344211 3.33
Casey Fien 1211031 2.42
Glen Perkins 1240021 2.96
HBP - Altuve (by Samuel Deduno), Springer (by Glen Perkins)
Pitches-Strikes - Samuel Deduno 79-40, Anthony Swarzak 47-26, Brian Duensing 33-19, Casey Fien 18-13, Glen Perkins 19-14
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Samuel Deduno 4-3, Anthony Swarzak 1-5, Brian Duensing 2-0, Glen Perkins 1-1
Batters Faced - Samuel Deduno 17, Anthony Swarzak 13, Brian Duensing 8, Casey Fien 5, Glen Perkins 7
Game Information
Attendance - 31576
Game Time - 3:45
Temperature - 69
Umpires - Home - Ted Barrett, First Base - Paul Schrieber, Second Base - Will Little, Third Base - Alfonso Marquez