HOUSTON (AP) — Minnesota Twins rookie Yohan Pino was well aware of Houston Astros slugger Chris Carter’s hot hitting.
But despite Pino’s best efforts to dodge the dangers of throwing strikes to him, Carter connected twice for home runs as the Astros cruised to a 10-4 win over the Twins on Tuesday night.
“I wanted to try to stay away,” Pino said. “I tried to throw a slider away to try to get a ground ball, but I left it up.”
The game was tied in the third inning when Carter’s two-out, two-run drive to the Crawford Boxes in left field put Houston up 3-1.
Carter homered again on his next at-bat with a three-run shot in the fifth to chase Pino (1-5), who allowed a season-high seven runs on seven hits in 4 1-3 innings for his third straight loss.
“We’ve seen Carter do that before,” Twins manager Ron Gardenhire said. “He hit, I don’t know how many, off of Pino.”
Carter leads the majors with 15 homers since July 1. Tuesday was his second multihomer game in a week, and his 28 home runs are third in the American League.
Collin McHugh (5-9) allowed four hits and a run in six innings for the win.
Oswaldo Arcia homered twice for the Twins for his first career multihomer game. He gave Minnesota a 1-0 lead in the second inning and added a two-run shot in the ninth.
Kennys Vargas added a solo homer in the ninth.
“We just didn’t pitch well enough,” Gardenhire said. “They made us pay every time we made a bad pitch in some bad situations.”
After a rough seven-walk debut in a 9-4 loss in Oakland on Saturday, Trevor May relieved Pino and struggled more with his control. May walked two and allowed three runs on three hits in 2 1-3 innings.
“It was better than the first time, but I’ve still got a long way to go,” May said. “Things just didn’t go my way.”
Jake Marisnick, who finished with two hits, tied it with a solo homer to start Houston’s third before Carter’s first home run put the Astros ahead.
McHugh had retired nine in a row before Danny Santana doubled with no outs in the sixth inning. But McHugh sat down the next three Twins to end the inning. Minnesota couldn’t string together any hits and didn’t have more than one runner on in an inning.
Minnesota’s Joe Mauer singled in the first to extend his hitting streak to a season-high 14 games in his second game back from the disabled list.
Houston’s Jose Altuve pushed his major league-leading hit total to 165 with three hits, and added two RBIs. It was his 51st multihit game, which also leads the majors.
Minnesota: RHP Ricky Nolasco (elbow) is scheduled to come off the disabled list to start for the Twins on Friday. Gardenhire said he will likely be limited to 80-85 pitches.
Houston: Manager Bo Porter said CF Dexter Fowler (back) will come off the DL and start on Wednesday. Fowler hasn’t played since June 26. Fellow outfielder George Springer (quadriceps) had a setback in his rehabilitation and will be shut down for two weeks. Springer has been out since July 19.
Houston LHP Brett Oberholtzer opposes Kyle Gibson. The Astros have won the last five games started by Oberholtzer. Gibson pitched seven scoreless innings in a win over the Astros on June 7.
SOME KIND OF LUCK
Tim Pinkard went from having never caught a home run ball to grabbing two on Tuesday. Pinkard, who was visiting from Washington, caught both of Carter’s homers. Decked out in Astros’ gear, a beaming Pinkard raised his hands with a ball in each after snagging the second one. He texted his wife to tell her what happened and she didn’t believe him until he sent pictures. “I wanted to sit in the Crawford Boxes because I know it’s one of the intricacies of this park, and I knew a lot of home runs get hit here,” Pinkard said. “I knew this was home run territory, but I honestly didn’t expect to catch anything.”