Adrianza comes up big in Twins' loss to Astros

Adrianza comes up big in Twins' loss to Astros

HOUSTON -- Most of Minnesota's offense on Sunday centered on switch-hitting shortstop Ehire Adrianza, who connected on his first home run of the season and collected two of the Twins' five hits while batting in the No. 9 spot.

The Twins fell to the Astros, 5-3, in the series finale at Minute Maid Park, but Adrianza came up big, especially when his upper-deck solo shot off Houston starter Mike Fiers with one out in the third inning gave Minnesota a 2-1 lead.

Adrianza drove the first pitch he saw from Fiers, who recorded 11 strikeouts over seven innings, to right-center. In his second at-bat, in the fifth, Adrianza drilled a two-out, two-strike single up the middle.

"A first-pitch ambush in his first at-bat, and he battled with two strikes to bounce one up the middle that they couldn't handle," manager Paul Molitor said. "All around a good day, considering he hadn't played in a week or so."

Adrianza's homer was estimated to travel 413 feet, at a launch angle of 27 degrees, for his longest tracked by Statcast™. The ball left the bat at 107 mph.

"I take advantage of the video room and what pitchers are throwing today and what he's trying to do. In his last start, [Fiers] was throwing the first-pitch fastball, and I took advantage," said Adrianza, who went 2-for-3 to raise his batting average to .290.

In describing his first homer since Sept. 21, 2016, Adrianza said he wasn't necessarily trying to hammer the ball.

"I wasn't trying to hit a homer but put a good swing on it," said Adrianza, who was claimed off waivers from Milwaukee on Feb. 6 of this year. "He left the fastball a little bit up, and I put a good swing on it."

After adding his two-out single in the fifth off Fiers, Adrianza was picked off first base to end the inning with Brian Dozier, who homered in the first two games of the series, at the plate.

Fiers picks off Adrianza

In 29 games this season, Adrianza has 10 RBIs, one shy of tying his career high, set in 2015 (52 games).

The only time he was retired on Sunday was when Astros right fielder Josh Reddick made a long running catch in foul territory for the final out of the eighth inning.

"I try to do something to help the team to win every time I get the opportunity to play," said Adrianza, who returned from the disabled list on July 4 after missing 12 games with abdominal issues. "I'm just thinking about getting a base hit, get on base. Do something."

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Twins on Sunday. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.