Edwin Encarnacion reached base in all four plate appearances and slugged one of four home runs hit by the Cleveland Indians in their 8-6 win over the visiting Houston Astros on Saturday at Progressive Field.
Encarnacion chased Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (6-3) with a two-run homer in the fifth inning, the Indians’ third two-run shot against McCullers.
Cleveland recorded four consecutive hits off McCullers to open the fourth inning, with first baseman Yonder Alonso and second baseman Jason Kipnis socking two-run homers during that stretch. Alonso plated Encarnacion, who stroked a single to lead off the frame, with his 10th homer on the season. Kipnis drove home Melky Cabrera, who doubled, with his second home run.
Kipnis’ shot lifted the Indians to a 5-2 lead. McCullers had posted a 1.80 ERA over his seven previous starts, including logging seven scoreless innings against Cleveland last Sunday, before departing after Encarnacion belted his 11th home run. McCullers allowed seven runs on six hits and two walks with two strikeouts over 4 1/3 innings.
Encarnacion finished 3-for-3 with a walk.
Indians left fielder Michael Brantley extended his hitting streak to 15 games with a solo home run off Astros reliever Brad Peacock in the seventh inning. For Brantley, it was his eighth homer.
The Astros had their five-game winning streak snapped but pushed hard against the Indians’ power surge. Second baseman Jose Altuve finished 4-for-4 and a double shy of the cycle. His two-run homer off Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (6-3) gave the Astros a 2-1 lead in the third. Altuve scored on a Carlos Correa double in the fifth, cutting the deficit to 5-3.
With two outs in the sixth, No. 9 hitter Tony Kemp cranked his first homer, a two-run shot that chased Carrasco and pulled the Astros to within 7-5. An inning later, Altuve tripled and scored when Correa delivered a run-scoring groundout. Brantley provided Cleveland insurance.
Carrasco allowed five runs on seven hits and two walks with eight strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Closer Cody Allen notched his eighth save for the Indians, leaving Altuve on deck in the ninth.
—Field Level Media