Gonzalez gets high-5 after 3-run blast
(c) Associated Press
Corey Kluber stepped to the mound at Progressive Field Tuesday night on a personal 7-game winning streak. When the dust settled, just over three hours later, that streak was over and the Astros had claimed their third straight win.
Kluber got himself in trouble by walking Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus with two outs in the second inning. Marwin Gonzalez made him pay by launching an 0-2 pitch deep into the rightfield bleachers to give the Astros an early 3-0 lead.
The Indians responded with a run of their own in the bottom half of the inning. Lonnie Chisenhall led off the frame with a double off emergency starter Brad Peacock and, two outs later, Roberto Perez drove him home with a 2-bagger to right.
The Astros got that run back in the third when George Springer hit a leadoff double and Alex Bregman followed with a triple. But Kluber escaped further damage by getting Jose Altuve on a lineout and striking out Carlos Correa and Yulieski Gurriel.
The score stayed frozen at 4-1 until the eighth inning as Kluber settled in and the Astros got outstanding relief work from James Hoyt, Chris Devenski, and Will Harris.
Carlos Santana connected for a majestic home run off Luke Gregerson to lead off the eighth -- but Luke rebounded to retire the next three batters.
Things got a little scary for closer Ken Giles in the ninth as Jose Ramirez led off with a single and advanced to third on a couple of pitches that got past catcher Evan Gattis. Coco Crisp drew a 1-out walk and his steal of second induced a throwing error by Gattis that allowed Ramirez to score.
With the tying run now in scoring position, Giles got Tyler Naquin on a fly out and pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer's weak roller down the first-base line became the final out of a 4-3 Astros win.
Both teams squandered scoring opportunities, but the Indians had the worst of it. Cleveland hitters went 0-12 with runners in scoring position including three straight failures in the first inning with runners positioned at second and third.
Hoyt pitched 1-1/3 perfect innings, striking out two and picking up his first big league win. Correa extended his hitting streak to eleven games with a single in the eighth and Gonzalez stroked a pair of doubles in addition to his home run.
The two teams are back at it again Wednesday night when Doug Fister and Carlos Carrasco square off in a 6:10 CDT tilt. The Astros also announced the call-up of starting pitcher David Paulino. The 22-year old right-hander will make his big league debut Thursday afternoon in Cleveland in the finale of the 4-game series.
- Greg Thurston