The game was tied in the seventh when Trevor Hildenberger (2-1) allowed a single to Tyler White before issuing consecutive walks to Altuve and George Springer to load the bases with one out. Bregman’s sacrifice fly to right field put Houston up 5-4 and chased Hildenberger.
Adalberto Mejia took over and the Astros added an insurance run on an RBI single by Michael Brantley. The Astros turned a close game into a rout with a four-run eighth highlighted by Altuve’s ninth home run this season. All the runs in that inning were unearned because of errors by shortstop Jorge Polanco and pitcher Tyler Duffey and a passed ball by Mitch Garver.
Houston had been foiled by big first innings in a three-game losing streak with its starters allowing a combined 10 runs in the opening frame. The first-inning trouble continued on Tuesday as Eddie Rosario hit a three-run homer off Wade Miley with one out in the inning.
But Miley didn’t let the game snowball after that, settling down to retire 17 of the next 18, including 15 straight after a double by Jonathan Schoop to start the second inning that gave the Astros a chance to get back in it. Miley, who was the first left-handed starter the Twins have faced this season, yielded three hits and three runs while striking out seven in six innings for his 21st straight start where he allowed three earned runs or fewer. Hector Rondon (2-0) allowed three hits and a run in the seventh for the win.
Minnesota starter Michael Pineda allowed eight hits and four runs in 5 1/3 innings as the Twins saw a four-game winning streak end.
The Astros cut the lead to 3-1 in the third on an RBI single by Springer.
Houston trailed by two with one out in the fifth when Springer hit a run-scoring double on a grounder down the left field line to get the Astros within 3-2. There were two outs when Bregman’s single to left scored two to put the Astros on top 4-3.
Houston’s pitchers had sat down 17 straight Twins when Schoop doubled off Rondon with two outs in the seventh. Max Kepler followed with an RBI single that tied it at 4-4. Byron Buxton singled and stole second base, but Brantley made a leaping catch near the wall in left field to grab a ball hit by Garver to end the inning.
Twins: Minnesota hasn’t announced their starter for Wednesday’s finale, but manager Rocco Baldelli said he would likely know who would pitch after Tuesday night’s game.
Astros: RHP Justin Verlander (3-0, 3.00 ERA) will start for Houston on Wednesday. Verlander allowed three hits and one run in seven innings of a 7-2 win over the Rangers in his last start.