Colabello’s Slam Gives Twins 10-6 Win Over Astros
HOUSTON — Minnesota rookie Chris Colabello admitted he was putting too much pressure on himself as he struggled through a terrible offensive skid.
Once he settled down, he started to feel better at the plate and on Monday he broke out of his slump in a big way.
It was 6-all before Chia-Jen Lo (0-3) allowed a single to Brian Dozier with one out in the ninth. Doug Bernier and Chris Herrmann drew two-out walks on full-count pitches before Colabello hit the next pitch into the bullpen in right-center.
It was the first career grand slam for the 29-year-old Colabello, who ended a 0-for-23 skid with a single on Sunday. He spent years playing Independent League baseball before signing with the Twins last season.
“Having spent as much time as I did in (independent) league ball I wanted to impress people,” he said. “Any time you get into a new environment you want to go out and impress people every day and you kind of get yourself out of your element and things get a little out of character there. When you do that, it’s very hard to be yourself.”
“The biggest goal for a hitter is to go out and be yourself,” he continued. “Trust your approach. Trust what you do. Believe in what got you here and then go from there. Today was a good step in that direction.”
The Twins trailed 5-1 after two innings, but chipped away at the lead with the help of solo homers by Trevor Plouffe, Colabello and Dozier. A two-out RBI single by Pedro Florimon tied it in the eighth.
Plouffe tied a career high with three hits and Dozier’s home run gives him 16 this season, which ties a franchise record for a second baseman.
Chris Carter and Jason Castro drove in two runs apiece and Jose Altuve tied a career high with four hits for the Astros, who have lost six of seven.
Josh Roenicke (3-1) pitched two hitless innings for the win.
Minnesota starter Andrew Albers allowed nine hits and five runs, tying career highs, in 1 2-3 innings.
Houston’s Paul Clemens allowed seven hits and four runs in 3 2-3 innings in his second major league start after making 30 relief appearances.
Trevor Crowe hit an RBI single that capped a three-run first for Houston.
Plouffe homered in the second. The Astros scored twice in their half.
Castro, Houston’s All-Star catcher, was injured in the second inning. He hit an RBI single, which skidded down the left field line to make it 4-1.
Castro left the game after the hit. He appeared to injure himself on the swing on a foul ball the pitch before the single.
He trotted slowly to first base on the hit and chatted with the team trainer and Porter for a couple of minutes before being replaced by Cody Clark.
The injury leaves Clark as Houston’s only healthy catcher. Carlos Corporan and Max Stassi are both on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
Porter didn’t have an update on Castro after the game.
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