Bauer beats Astros ... again
(c) Houston Chronicle
Cleveland's Trevor Bauer continues to have the Astros' number. The right-hander struck out nine in 5-2/3 innings Friday night on the way to his seventh win in seven career starts against Houston. The Indians connected for three home runs off Houston starter Charlie Morton, who came up short in a bid for his fifth straight win of the season.
The Astros got on the board first with a 2-out rally in the first inning. After Bauer whiffed George Springer and Josh Reddick, Jose Altuve slapped a ground ball single into rightfield. Carlos Correa drew a walk and Carlos Beltran grounded a single up the middle to score Altuve.
Reddick extended the Astros lead in the third with a leadoff homer into the rightfield seats making it 2-0. That seemed to be a wakeup call for Bauer. He would strike out the next three batters and eventually retire ten in a row while the Cleveland offense got on track against Morton.
A leadoff walk to Carlos Santana in the fourth was followed by a laser shot off the bat of Edwin Encarnacion that reached the Crawford Boxes, tying the score at two. Solo homers by Jason Kipnis in the fifth and Lonnie Chisenhall in the sixth helped cut Morton's night short. Charlie left the game after 5-2/3 innings with the Indians on top by a score of 4-2.
Correa connected for an opposite field homer in the sixth to make it 4-3 but that was pretty much the last hint of offense from the Astros. A trio of Cleveland relievers would set down the final ten Astros to come to the plate, securing their third win in four meetings with Houston this season.
Astros batters struck out a total of ten times in the contest while managing only five hits -- a stark contrast from the last six games in which they averaged ten hits and over seven runs per game.
Mike Fiers gets the start in Saturday's 3:10 CDT tilt as the Astros try to get back to their winning ways. Right-hander Mike Clevinger gets the nod for Cleveland, making his third start of the season since being called up to replace the injured Corey Kluber in the rotation.
- Greg Thurston