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Matt Shoemaker removed from rotation, fits in with Twins bullpen

The right-hander allowed two ninth-inning runs in a 6-4 loss to Houston.
Matt Shoemaker

The Minnesota Twins decided to pull Matt Shoemaker from the starting rotation on Friday but he still made an impact in Friday's 6-4 loss to the Houston Astros.

Shoemaker was removed from the rotation in favor of Bailey Ober, who allowed two runs over five innings in his third start of the season. With Ober limiting the damage, the Twins created some of their own on the strength of four solo home runs.

The first homer came off the bat of Nelson Cruz, who launched a 442-blast into the Twins bullpen during the first inning to give Minnesota a 1-0 lead.

The Twins doubled their lead in the second inning when Miguel Sanó hit his 13th home run of the season to put the Twins up 2-0.

Although the Astros got a run back in the top of the third inning, Josh Donaldson brought rain on his own umbrella night, hitting his ninth home run of the season to give the Twins a 3-1 lead.

Houston rallied from there, using home runs from Jose Altuve and Yuli Gurriel to tie the game at 3. After Alex Bregman gave the Astros a 4-3 lead with a ground out in the seventh inning, Donaldson hit his second homer of the night to tie the game in the eighth inning.

With the game tied at 4, the Twins turned to Shoemaker in the ninth inning. In a performance that has been typical of the Twins bullpen, Shoemaker allowed two runs in the ninth to lead to another Twins defeat.

The Twins (25-37) will look to even their series with the Astros when José Berríos takes the mound on Saturday night.

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