This is vintage Astros play. Good ball, even exciting ball, was a thing of the past for too long. They’ve found a passage back.

The Astros hit two grand slams in a three-inning span on Sunday afternoon, one from Chris Carter and the other from Jon Singleton as they walloped the Twins, 14-5. In the only other game the Astros ripped a pair of grand slams, Don Wilson was the winning pitcher, on July 30, 1969.

Denis Menke and Jimmy Wynn hit their grand slams in the same inning, an 11-run ninth against Gil Hodges’ Miracle Mets, who lost 16-3. That was the first game of a doubleheader at Shea Stadium, and the nightcap was a scene too: Larry Dierker homered and doubled off Nolan Ryan.

But enough reminiscing. With the power potential of the current Astros lineup, the wait for two more grand slams packed into one game could be shorter than 45 years. This run is a rollicking good time for a starved fan base, as well as a gelling clubhouse.

“Oh boy,” manager Bo Porter said, “It was good to see the offense break out today, and we needed every last one of ‘em, especially with (starting pitcher Collin McHugh) having to come out of the game early.”

Darin Downs was the Astros’ winning pitcher in relief, at the official scorer’s discretion because McHugh didn’t go five innings. The last time Downs got a win before Sunday was Sept. 18, 2012.

Carter’s grand slam to right came in the seventh, Singleton’s to right in the ninth, both on fastballs. Neither had hit a major league grand slam before.

Singleton’s went 396 feet on an elevated fastball from Glen Perkins, the Twins’ lefty closer who was getting some work in. Perkins threw Singleton an elevated fastball, and Singleton elevated it further. Both of the rookie’s big league homers have been no-doubt shots.

“Great, fantastic, loved it,” Singleton said. “I think I hit (Sunday’s) harder. I definitely hit that one harder.”
Sandwiched in the middle was George Springer’s solo shot, hit just deep enough to center in the eighth inning on a slider that he waited for.

Things are going so well for the Astros that Carter, whose April struggles were a source of ire for many fans, deserves to be seen through rosier lenses. We’re a long way from April.