Rookie Royce Lewis homered with four RBIs in his season debut and Ryan Jeffers hit a two-run shot in the 10th inning to give the Minnesota Twins a 7-5 win over the Houston Astros on Monday.
Lewis returned exactly a year from the day he tore the ACL in his right knee for a second time when he crashed into an outfield wall while making a catch in his first appearance in center field. The first overall pick in the 2017 amateur draft had reconstructive surgery a few days later, ending his first major league season after just 12 games.
It was the second time in two years that he sustained the same injury after tearing it for the first time in Feb. 2021. Lewis was drafted as a shortstop but will play third base for now with fellow top pick Carlos Correa entrenched as the team's shortstop.
Max Kepler started the 10th as the automatic runner on second base before Jeffers drove the first pitch from Bryan Abreu (2-1) into the seats in left field for his third hit and a 7-5 lead.
Lewis gave Minnesota an early lead with a three-run homer in the third. The Astros went ahead 5-4 when Jose Altuve hit a grand slam in the seventh.
But Lewis came through again late, tying it with an RBI single off Ryan Pressly with two outs in the ninth, the closer's first blown save in 11 chances this year.
Jhoan Duran (1-1) pitched a scoreless ninth to send it to the 10th. He returned for the 10th and sat down Altuve, Jeremy Peña and Yordan Alvarez to end it.
The Twins were up by 3 when Sonny Gray was lifted after giving up a double to Kyle Tucker and walking José Abreu starting the seventh. Brock Stewart allowed a one-out single to Mauricio Dubón that loaded the bases. With two out, Altuve sent a fastball from Stewart to left field to put Houston on top 5-4.
It was the second straight game with a homer for Altuve, who has played just eight games this season, missing the start after breaking his right thumb in the World Baseball Classic. His first home run of the season came in Houston's 10-1 win over Oakland on Sunday where the Astros tied a franchise record with seven.
Altuve's slam ruined another good performance by Gray, who yielded four hits and three runs — two earned — in six-plus innings for his fifth straight start without factoring in the decision. He leads the majors with a 1.94 ERA.
There were two outs in the third inning when J.P. France walked Correa. Kirilloff singled to left field before Lewis launched an opposite field shot just over the low wall in right field to put the Twins up 3-0.
Michael A. Taylor drove in a run with a single in the fourth that made it 4-0.
Alvarez reached and took second on an error by Joey Gallo with no outs in the bottom of the inning. A single by Alex Bregman sent him to third and he scored when Tucker grounded into a double play to cut the lead to 4-1.
France allowed seven hits and four runs while tying a career high with eight strikeouts in six innings.
Houston RHP Brandon Bielak (1-2, 3.55) opposes RHP Joe Ryan (7-1, 2.21) when the series continues Tuesday night.
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