HOUSTON - The Minnesota Twins' methodical comeback from a four-run deficit was capped by a ninth-inning grand slam by first baseman Chris Colabello, helping the Twins to a 10-6 win over the Houston Astros Monday at Minute Maid Park.
Colabello followed two-out walks by Doug Bernier and Chris Herrmann with a first-pitch blast off Astros right-hander Chia-Jen Lo. Colabello not only recorded his first career grand slam, he also posted his first multi-home run game and notched a career-high five RBIs.
Lo (0-3) had a two-strike count with two outs against Bernier before coming undone. The Astros (45-92) walked nine batters in giving away the 5-1 lead they grabbed in the second inning. Minnesota (60-76) bashed four home runs, two off the Astros' beleaguered bullpen.
Twins right-hander Josh Roenicke (1-0) worked two hitless innings of relief to get the win. He was replaced by right-hander Casey Fien, who faced the minimum in the ninth despite allowing a leadoff single to second baseman Jose Altuve.
The Astros made short work of Twins left-hander Andrew Albers as Robbie Grossman, Altuve and Jason Castro all reached base and scored in the first inning. Houston recorded five hits in its first at-bat, then added four more in its second in chasing Albers from the game.
As he did in his first at-bat, Castro drove home Grossman with an opposite-field single. Two batters later, Chris Carter added a run-scoring double that scored Altuve and sent Albers to the showers. Altuve tacked on an RBI single in the third, but the well ran dry soon thereafter. The Astros came to regret stranding six runners by the third inning.
After the Twins posted solo runs in the second and third inning, they scored twice off right-hander Paul Clemens in the fourth. Trevor Plouffe and Colabello homered off Clemens before Brian Dozier did the same off Lucas Harrell in the fifth inning.
Harrell's solo blast cut the Houston lead to 6-5, and the Twins capped their slow climb back to a deadlock in the eighth, when Plouffe drew a leadoff walk and pinch-runner Bernier scored on a two-out single to center field by Pedro Florimon.
NOTES: Twins C Joe Mauer hit off a tee back at Target Field and is scheduled to take batting practice on Tuesday. Mauer, placed on the seven-day concussion disabled list Aug. 20, could return to the active roster this weekend barring a relapse. ... Castro departed in the second inning with a sprained right knee after recording his second consecutive single against Albers. The Astros already have catchers Carlos Corporan and Max Stassi on the seven-day concussion disabled list.