MINNEAPOLIS -- The Minnesota Twins, aided by seven walks, defeated the Houston Astros 8-0 Saturday at Target Field.
Astros starter Scott Feldman allowed only one hit but gave up two walks and three runs thanks to two early errors by the defense behind him. He lasted only 1 2/3 innings and took the loss, giving up three unearned runs and dropping to 3-4.
Minnesota busted the game open in the fourth inning against Houston reliever Paul Clemens, who had trouble finding the strike zone. He walked five Twins hitters in a disastrous inning.
With the Astros trailing 3-0, Clemens walked the first two batters before center fielder Aaron Hicks laid down a sacrifice bunt to move both runners into scoring position. Designated hitter Danny Santana cleared the bases with a double to the gap in left center. Two walks and two singles plated two more runs and made it 7-0
Twins starter Kyle Gibson took advantage of the support, holding the Astros to three hits in seven shutout innings -- the third time this season Gibson has kept an opponent off the scoreboard for at least seven innings. Gibson struck out a season-high five batters, which tied a career best, and improved to 5-5.
Gibson has excelled at Target Field this season, where he improved to 4-1. He has not allowed a run at home in three games and 15 1/3 innings, and his 1.54 ERA at home is the best in the American League.
Santana, a rookie playing in his 21st game in the majors, had four hits and drove in five runs -- both career highs -- and is now hitting .373 for the season. In addition to his two-run double in the fourth, Santana had a two-RBI single in the second and an RBI single in the seventh.
NOTES: Jon Heyman of CBS Sports reported the Twins and 1B/DH Kendrys Morales have agreed on a one-year contract. The Twins would not confirm the report Saturday. Morales hit .277 with 23 homers and 80 RBIs in 156 games with the Seattle Mariners last season but did not sign his qualifying offer in the offseason. Because he signed after the baseball draft, the Twins will not owe the Mariners draft pick compensation for signing Morales. ... Twins RF Oswaldo Arcia (sprained right ankle) did not play Saturday but was available for pinch-hitting duty. He is day to day after sustaining the injury Thursday against the Milwaukee Brewers.