Minnesota Twins defeat Houston Astros, 5-2

Kevin Slowey is only 25 but already has earned a reputation as a "control artist." So what happened Friday to the young Twins pitcher was flat-out uncharacteristic.

Slowey missed catcher Joe Mauer's glove frequently, tying a career high with four walks after entering the game with 10 walks in 78 innings. In fact, he walked a total of five over his 10 previous starts.

Despite his control issues, Slowey had a lead when he left the game after six innings, and the Twins ...

The Twins led the majors last season with a .305 batting average with runners in scoring position. They entered Friday batting .264 in those situations, good for 14th in baseball.

Justin Morneau hit .348 with runners in scoring position last season. He has dipped a little, to .339. He hit a sacrifice fly in the Twins' 5-2 victory over Houston on Friday.

Denard Span, on the disabled list, is down from .346 last season to .315 this year; Carlos Gomez is down from .296 ...