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Did The Tribe Win Last Night? | August 21, 2017

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Game Preview #70: Cleveland Indians (37-32) at Houston Astros (28-42)

By Mike Brandyberry

Last evening Ubaldo Jimenez pitched shutout baseball for six and two-third innings, and the bullpen followed suit, as the Tribe took the first game of the three game series, 2-0. The victory, combined with a loss by the Chicago White Sox, gives the Indians a game and one-half lead in the AL Central Division standings.

The Indians will send Jeanmar Gomez (4-6, 4.95 ERA) to the bump this afternoon for what could be a big start for the 24-year old right-hander. Gomez has struggled for a month and could be facing a trip to Triple-A Columbus if he does not improve soon. Last Sunday Gomez was defeated by the Pittsburgh Pirates, 9-5. He allowed eight runs in four and one-third innings, but only four were earned, as a product of three Asdrubal Cabrera errors. Gomez is 1-4, with a 7.92 ERA in his last five starts.

Houston will counter with left-hander Dallas Kuechel (0-0, 1.80 ERA), who is making only his second Major League start and first at Minute Maid Park. Kuechel will benefit in facing the Indians, who are only 5-13 against southpaw starters. He replaces Bud Norris in the Astro rotation and walked four in five innings of work last Sunday against the Texas Rangers.

After last night’s victory the Tribe is now 18-6 in series openers this season. To win the series the Tribe will have to face a lefty starter on both Saturday and Sunday. However, with the lowly Astros as the opponent, and the New York Yankees and Baltimore Orioles waiting on the second and third legs of the road trip, winning this series—or even sweeping—seems imperative.

Today’s game begins at 4:05 ET from Minute Maid Park. The game can be heard on the Indians Radio Network and seen on SportsTime Ohio.

Cleveland Indians Starting Lineup
1. Shin-Soo Choo, RF
2. Asdrubal Cabrera, SS
3. Jason Kipnis, 2B
4. Jose Lopez, 1B
5. Michael Brantley, CF
6. Carlos Santana, C
7. Johnny Damon, LF
8. Jack Hannahan, 3B
9. Jeanmar Gomez, P

Houston Astros Starting Lineup
1. Jose Altuve, 2B
2. Jed Lowrie, SS
3. Carlos Lee, 1B
4. Brian Bogusevic, RF
5. Chris Johnson, 3B
6. Jason Castro, C
7. Justin Maxwell, LF
8. Jordan Schafer, CF
9. Dallas Keuchel, P

Photo: Getty Images