Southern Slamming By Stros Bats and Southpaw; Astros 8, Indians 1
By Christian Petrila
The first four innings literally could not have gone more perfectly for Jeanmar Gomez and the Indians.
However, keeping with the theme that, “everything is bigger in Texas,” the Astros used a big fifth inning to springboard their way to a big 8-1 win over the Indians.
Asdrubal Cabrera gave his starter some insurance by smacking a leadoff home run off the facing of the tan wall in left center off of Dallas Keuchel for a 1-0 lead in the fourth inning. However, that would do it for that half of the frame as Jason Kipnis, Jose Lopez and Michael Brantley each went out without a whimper.
The Astros ruined three things for Gomez in the fifth, in this order: his perfect game, his shutout and his day. Having retired all 12 batters faced heading into the inning, Gomez gave up a leadoff double to Brian Bogusevic. Chris Johnson wasted no time in bringing Bogusevic home, as he laced a double down the left field line. Gomez got Juan Castro to fly out to center, but the implosion really began with the next hitter. J.D. Martinez annihilated a pitch that almost cleared the stadium to giveHoustona 3-1 lead. The very next pitch was to Jordan Schafer. He ripped the pitch the other way and just like that, Gomez’s perfect game turned into a three-run Indians deficit.
Houston added to Gomez’s misery in the sixth. After a leadoff walk to Jed Lowrie, Carlos Lee drove him in all the way from first with a double in the left-center gap. Two consecutive fly outs got the first two outs of the inning, but the second one advanced Lee to third. That was it for Gomez. His final line was five and two-third innings pitched while allowing five runs on six hits while striking out three and walking one. Tony Sipp came out of the bullpen and struck out Jason Castro to end the inning.
Jeremy Accardo came on in the eighth inning. The first batter he faced – Jose Altuve – took him deep into the left field seats. That was just the beginning, as Lowrie followed up with a double. Not to be outdone, Lee hit a double of his own to drive in Lowrie. After Bogusevic grounded out, Johnson hit his second double of the game to score Lee.
The Indians put runners on the corners with one out in the ninth, but it was to no avail as Keuchel put the finishing touches on a complete game. He allowed just the one run on sox hits while striking out three and walking one.
The loss drops the Tribe to 37-33, while Houston improves to 29-42. Keuchel gets his first career win, and Gomez drops to 4-7. Gomez now has a 7.92 ERA in his last six starts.
Photo: Bob Levey/Getty Images