Another early exit for Fister
(c) Associated Press
With Lance McCullers and Dallas Keuchel on the shelf the Astros starting rotation has been downright awful of late. Wednesday night was no different as Doug Fister was hit hard in a 6-5 loss to the Indians. For the seventh straight game, Houston's starter failed to get past the fifth inning. For Fister, it was his third straight start of fewer than five frames.
The Indians plated single runs against Fister in the second and third innings to take a 2-1 lead. Colby Rasmus put the Astros on top in the fourth with a 2-run homer off Carlos Carrasco. But the game unravelled for Fister and the Astros in the fifth.
Francisco Lindor led off the inning with a single to right and Mike Napoli followed with a long home run to left-center. Two of the next three batters reached and A.J. Hinch called on Kevin Chapman from the bullpen.
Chapman served up a 2-run double to pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer and, suddenly, the Astros were on the wrong end of a 6-3 score. Jandel Gustave replaced Chapman and got out of the inning without any further damage, but the Astros comeback efforts came up short.
Carrasco gave Terry Francona 7-1/3 solid innings of work, allowing the Cleveland manager to turn the game over to his best bullpen arms for the final five outs. All didn't go exactly as planned, though.
Yulieski Gurriel clubbed his first big league homer, a 2-run shot, off Andrew Miller in the eighth to close the gap to 6-5. Tony Kemp led off the ninth with a single up the middle against Cody Allen, but Cleveland's closer struck out the next three batters to end the game.
Astros fans got more bad news before the game even started. The club announced that shortstop Carlos Correa had been sent back to Houston to undergo tests on a sore left shoulder.
David Paulino makes his major league debut Thursday, saddled with the task of stopping Houston's streak of dreadful outings by starting pitchers. The big right-hander will have his work cut out for him as Cleveland counters with Trevor Bauer, who is 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.
- Greg Thurston