Player of the Game
Trevor Bauer struggled his last time out, but picked things up again in this start. In six shut out innings, he allowed just three hits (along with three walks and a hit batter), struck out nine and earned the win. While he was a little wild at times, the one steal allowed came on a pitch in the dirt, he used his wildness to keep the hitters off balance and got better as the game went on, striking out six in his last three innings. It was Bauer’s fourth Player of the Game of the season and the third in a row by the Indians starting pitcher. Indians starters have also won 11 of the last 13 during this impressive run.
It wasn’t much, but it was enough as the Indians were just able to scramble together three runs against Houston starter, Brett Oberholtzer. The first came on a Carlos Santana sacrifice fly after Michael Bourn singled and Jose Ramirez doubled him to third. An inning later, the Indians put another single spot on the board when Mike Aviles doubled and Lonnie Chisenhall singled him home.
A third Tribe run scored in the seventh and pushed Oberholtzer from the game. Chisenhall was involved again, as he singled to lead off the inning, then went to second on a balk. Roberto Perez sacrificed him to third, where he scored on Ramirez’s third hit of the game. Although Jason Kipnis and Santana reached to load the bases, the Indians were unable to score again in the inning.
The top two plays of the game involved the same two players as Tyler Holt made two tremendous diving catches to rob Marc Krauss. The first came in the first, with two outs and Jose Altuve on second. With Altuve running on the hit, even a trap would have lead to a 1-0 Astros lead, but Holt was able to dig it out in the air. The second time was in the sixth and this time, there was a runner on first with no one out and his great catch prevented what could have been a huge inning. Bauer struck out the final two batters after the dive to keep the shut out going.
Milestone Alert: Although he did allow the only run of the game for Houston, Bryan Shaw tallied his 29th hold as an Indian, good enough for a tie for tenth in Indians history. He currently is tied with Steve Karsay and is just four away from ninth place and David Riske.
The Astros made a ton of mistakes this series, but the Indians never really seemed to take advantage. In the second inning of today’s game, Tyler Holt singled on a ball that Oberholtzer misplayed, then went to second when he threw the ball into the dugout. Already given two free bases, third baseman Matt Dominguez tried to get Holt out going back to second on a Mike Aviles ground out, but all were safe. With two on and one out, Lonnie Chisenhall and Roberto Perez both struck out to end the inning.
Despite the biggest splits on the team (.325 BAA vs LHH, .153 BAA vs RHH) and an eight man bullpen with three left handers, Terry Francona left Bryan Shaw in the game in the eighth against a left handed hitter. As could be expected, Jon Singleton doubled down the left field line to bring home the Astros first run when Krauss scored from first.
Final Score: Cleveland Indians 3 – Houston Astros 1
On Deck: The Indians have one of their two remaining off-days on Monday before heading to Chicago for three with the White Sox. The first game will be Tuesday night, 8:10 PM EDT.