Alex Bregman and Jake Marisnick slammed three-run homers and combined to drive in seven runs, and right-hander Charlie Morton ran his record to 7-0 in the Houston Astros’ 8-2 victory over the host Cleveland Indians on Thursday night.
Houston got its ninth win in 11 games and its third victory in four tries against Cleveland this season as the teams began a four-game weekend series. The Astros won two of three on their home field against the Indians last weekend.
The Indians’ Mike Clevinger, who lost to Morton and the Astros 4-1 on May 18, had a 2-0 lead going into the top of the fifth Thursday. He allowed a one-out single to Marisnick, but despite picking him off first base, Clevinger couldn’t escape trouble.
Clevinger hit Tony Kemp with a pitch and walked George Springer, who homered against Clevinger last week and reached base four times Thursday.
Bregman then got a hanging breaking pitch and blasted it to the seats in left field for his fifth home run of the season and a 3-2 Houston lead.
The Astros chased Clevinger (3-2) in the sixth, and made a pair of pitching changes backfired in the process.
Carlos Correa led off with a single, went to second on a groundout and to third on a single by Yuli Gurriel. Indians manager Terry Francona brought in lefty Tyler Olson, assuming he would face the Astros’ left-handed-hitting catcher Brian McCann, but Houston countered with right-handed pinch hitter Max Stassi, who began the night hitting .519 against left-handed pitching.
Stassi singled past the lunge of Indians third baseman Jose Ramirez to score Correa, and the Indians brought in right-hander Neil Ramirez to face Marisnick, a right-handed hitter.
Marisnick, just recalled from the minors when outfielder Josh Reddick went on the disabled list with a leg infection, launched a 2-2 pitch for a long home run to center field, his fourth of the season, and the Indians led 7-2.
The Astros added a run later in the inning when Springer singled, stole second and scored on a long double by Bregman.
Morton went six innings, giving up two runs and five hits with three walks and five strikeouts. His ERA rose from 1.94 to 2.04. Morton has posted quality starts in eight of his 10 outings.
Clevinger allowed five runs in 5 1/3 innings, giving up seven hits and walking three while striking out four. His ERA jumped from 2.87 to 3.32.
Hector Rondon (one inning) and Collin McHugh (two innings) blanked Cleveland the rest of the way.
The Indians opened the scoring in the third inning. Roberto Perez led off with a single, and one out later, Francisco Lindor doubled to center field, sending Perez to third. Michael Brantley then banged a single to center to score them both, giving him 32 RBIs for the season.
Springer, Bregman, Gurriel and Marisnick each had two of Houston’s 12 hits.
The Indians finished with seven hits, with nobody getting more than one.
—Field Level Media