Astros win 4-1 in Game 1; Twins' record losing streak at 17

MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros unsuccessfully attempts the tag on Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins allowing the first run of the game in the third inning during game one of the American League Wild Card series at Target Field on September 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MN - SEPTEMBER 29: Martin Maldonado #15 of the Houston Astros unsuccessfully attempts the tag on Max Kepler #26 of the Minnesota Twins allowing the first run of the game in the third inning during game one of the American League Wild Card series at Target Field on September 29, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Adam Bettcher/Getty Images) (2020 Getty Images)

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Jose Altuve drew a bases-loaded walk to force in the go-ahead run in the ninth inning for Houston after a two-out error by shortstop Jorge Polanco, and the Astros beat Minnesota 4-1 Tuesday to open their AL playoff series and stretch the Twins' all-time record postseason losing streak to 17 games.

Manager Dusty Baker’s Astros became the first team in major league history to win a game after reaching the postseason with a losing record.

Game 2 in the best-of-three wild-card matchup is Wednesday at Target Field.

Michael Brantley tacked on a two-run single in the ninth after Sergio Romo issued a full-count walk to the 5-foot-6 Altuve, the 2017 AL MVP who had a quiet season at the plate.

Framber Valdez, who made 10 regular-season starts for the Astros, pitched five scoreless innings in relief of Zack Greinke for the victory to keep the bullpen fresh for the rest of the series. Valdez allowed his only two hits with one out in the ninth, but Willians Astudillo grounded into a double play to end the game.

Twins manager Rocco Baldelli called for Romo, the fifth of six pitchers, to start the ninth. The Astros loaded the bases on two singles to start the inning and then the crippling two-out error, when Polanco’s throw to second base after a straight-at-him grounder was low to blow the forceout.