EditorsNote: Added Cole’s walk total in 3rd graf; Changed ‘flyout’ to 1 word in 8th graf
Gerrit Cole allowed one run over seven strong innings and Alex Bregman homered to highlight his three-hit performance as the visiting Houston Astros recorded a 7-1 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday.
Former Indians outfielder Michael Brantley and Yordan Alvarez joined Bregman in driving in two runs each and George Springer belted his 32nd career leadoff homer for the Astros, who have won 11 of their last 14 games.
Cole (13-5) won his fourth straight start and improved to 9-0 in his last 13 contests after scattering four hits while striking out four against two walks.
However, a career-high 18-game hitting streak by Houston’s Yuli Gurriel came to a halt with an 0-for-4 performance.
Cleveland’s Yasiel Puig, who is appealing his three-game suspension for his part in a brawl in his last game with the Cincinnati Reds, joined Franmil Reyes by recording a hit apiece in their respective debuts with the Indians. Both players were later thrown out at the plate, however.
Indians starter Danny Salazar (0-1) was greeted rudely in his first regular-season game since Sept. 27, 2017, with Springer hitting a 1-1 changeup over the wall in left-center field to lead off the contest.
Bregman doubled the advantage with one out in the fourth inning by launching a 1-2 changeup over the wall in left field. The homer was Bregman’s team-leading 27th of the season and first since July 19.
Cleveland halved the deficit in the bottom of the fourth following Jose Ramirez’s sacrifice fly to center field that scored Carlos Santana. Puig’s bid to forge a tie later in the inning was unsuccessful after he was thrown out at the plate attempting to score on Reyes’ flyout to right field.
The Astros extended their lead to 4-1 in the seventh inning, as Brantley’s blooper landed just inside the left field line for an RBI double before Bregman singled to plate Jose Altuve.
Houston put the game out of reach in the eighth inning after Alvarez’s two-run double followed Brantley’s sacrifice fly.
Bench coach Brad Mills served as interim manager of the Indians in place of Terry Francona, who underwent unexpected eye surgery earlier in the day.
—Field Level Media