EditorsNote: Adds teams to headline
Charlie Morton extended his career-long winning streak to nine games when the Houston Astros rallied on his behalf, scoring twice in the seventh inning to scratch out a 4-1 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
Morton (6-0) was exceptional again at home, improving to 5-0 with a 1.85 ERA at Minute Maid Park this season. He limited the Indians to four hits and a walk over seven innings, recording eight strikeouts while tossing 97 pitches.
Cleveland designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion struck for a solo home run to the opposite field in right with one out in the seventh to sully the Morton ledger. It was Encarnacion’s 10th home run on the season.
Morton allowed three hits in the seventh, including two singles after Encarnacion’s blast, which tied the game at 1-1.
The Astros, who squandered multiple scoring opportunities against Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger (3-1) through six innings, finally delivered in the bottom of the seventh.
Clevinger induced double plays in the first, third and fifth innings to escape messes, but after walking the first two batters of the seventh, he allowed a one-out double to nine-hole hitter Tony Kemp that plated Marwin Gonzalez with the go-ahead run.
Derek Fisher, whose walk advanced Gonzalez into scoring position, later scored on a fielder’s choice grounder off the bat of George Springer, beating the throw home from second baseman Jason Kipnis.
Clevinger allowed three runs on eight hits and four walks with six strikeouts over 6 1/3 innings. He entered his ninth start with a 0.83 ERA on the road, the second-best mark in the majors.
Springer socked his ninth home run with one out in the third, a solo shot to left that snapped a string of four consecutive strikeouts by Clevinger.
The Astros followed by putting two runners on in the fourth and fifth innings, failing to score each time. The breakthrough in the seventh enabled Houston to snap a five-game losing skid to the Indians.
—Field Level Media