MINNEAPOLIS -- The Astros were hoping rookie right-hander Chris Devenski would simply keep them in the game by giving them a few innings in his spot start Thursday night against the Twins. Devenski delivered even more, throwing five scoreless innings to pick up his first Major League win in a 10-2 victory over the Twins in Game 2 of a doubleheader at Target Field.
Devenski, a starter in the Minor Leagues who's blossomed as a long reliever this year, gave up a leadoff doubled to Brian Dozier in the first before sending down 15 of the final 17 batters he faced, throwing 71 pitches. It was his fourth career start and first since May 15 in Boston.
"He picked us big time by going through five innings," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He's so efficient when he's right. He got into the fifth inning relatively quickly. We started the game with 60-70, maybe 75 pitches, and he maximized all the outs. He's tough to hit when he's in the strike zone. Guys want to go up and swing against him and he can disrupt the timing as well as anybody on our team."
Devenski was told he was going to start Thursday's second game after Wednesday's game was rained out, forcing a doubleheader.
"My preparation before the game was very [good]," he said. "I had the mindset of expecting to go out there and win today. I've been due for a win. My past performances I wasn't happy with, I wasn't satisfied with. I just wanted to go out there and give my team a chance to win. I was just attacking those hitters and making good pitches."
Astros catcher Evan Gattis said he didn't have to do much once the game started to navigate Devenski through five innings.
"He had a good game plan and we know we've been pretty good the last few days," he said. "He used his changeup a whole lot and pitched up and down. He was good."
When asked about the thrill of getting his first big league win, Devenski couldn't help but smile as the game ball sat neatly in his locker.
"It's exciting, it was fun," he said. "More to come now."
Brian McTaggart is reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.