HOUSTON — — Trey Mancini homered for the second straight game, a three-run shot that led the Houston Astros to a 6-3 victory and a three-game sweep of the slumping Minnesota Twins on Thursday night.
Mancini, who hit a two-run homer Wednesday, has six home runs and 16 RBIs in 18 games since being traded by the Orioles.
“That’s why he’s hitting where he’s hitting, because I was hoping he’d have some runners in front of him,” manager Dusty Baker said. “That’s why I hit (Christian) Vazquez in front of him, because he got on base and got base hits. But that was huge.”
The Twins have lost a season-high six games and finished 0-6 against the AL West-leading Astros this season.
“We’ve got to go out there and play that complete baseball that we’ve been talking about,” manager Rocco Baldelli said. recently, but we have to get it together.”
The game was tied at 1 in the first when Mancini connected Chris Archer (2-7) with his shot to the seats in left field.
“If I could have hit one or two pitches, it would have been a lot different,” Archer said. “So yeah, I’m disappointed, for sure.”
Jeremy Peña hit a two-out RBI double in Houston’s eighth to make it 6-3.
Luis Garcia (11-8) gave up five hits and three runs on five hits in five innings for his third straight win. Rafael Montero pitched one out in a scoreless ninth for his eighth save.
“That was the best night we’ve had in a while,” Baker said. “It was relatively clean, guys had clean innings. I don’t think we had a lot of walks. Vazquez led them through the game really well; it was a great job by him.”
Carlos Correa had a memorable streak in his first games against Houston since leaving the Astros after seven seasons to sign with the Twins. He went 0 for 4 Thursday night to end his 1-for-11 streak.
Jorge Polanco gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead with his homer to right field with two outs in the first.
Jose Altuve hit a go-ahead double in the bottom of the game and Yuli Gurriel had an infield single. Yordan Alvarez then grounded into a double play that scored Altuve to tie it at 1.
Alex Bregman and Vazquez hit back-to-back singles before Mancini’s homer gave the Astros the lead.
Nick Gordon tripled to start the second and scored on a wild pitch by Garcia to cut it to 4-2.
Bregman doubled with one out in the third and the Astros extended the lead to 5-2 on an RBI single by Vazquez.
Gary Sanchez doubled before advancing to third on a single by Gilberto Celestino with no outs in the fifth. A sacrifice fly by Luis Arráez sent Sanchez home to get Minnesota within 5-3.
Archer allowed eight hits and five runs in four innings.
Twins: Following the injury to OF Byron Buxton, Minnesota signed Billy Hamilton to a minor league contract on Thursday. Hamilton had seven stolen bases in just 20 games with the Marlins this season and has 321 in his 10-year career.
Astros: Placed closer Ryan Pressly on the injured list with neck spasms Thursday, retroactive to Monday. … RHP Seth Martinez was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land to take his spot on the roster. … I Chas McCormick is likely to miss several games after dislocating his right breast Wednesday night. … I Kyle Tucker missed the game with a sore left leg.
Twins: Joe Ryan (9-6, 3.86 ERA) will start the series opener against San Francisco on Friday night against Alex Wood (8-10, 4.54).
Astros: Lance McCullers Jr. (1-1, 2.45) will oppose Baltimore’s Kyle Bradish (1-5, 6.25) on Friday night in the first of three games against the Orioles.