Houston Errors and Mother Nature’s Rain Pushes Tribe into Wild Card Lead; Indians 2, Astros 1
Mike B. | On 21, Sep 2013
As Crash Davis said in the movie Bull Durham, “in baseball, sometimes you win, sometimes you lose and sometimes it rains.” The Cleveland Indians were able to cash in on two out of three Friday evening and work their way into the lead for a wild card spot.
Cleveland won 2-1over the Houston Astros in a rain-shortened seven inning game. The game was called after six and a half innings with a line of storms entering the Cleveland area that is expected to precipitate all night long. The Tribe used two unearned runs to take the lead before Mother Nature cut the contest short.
Houston scored in the top of the second with their lone run of the game. Brandon Laird took Indians’ starter Zach McAllister deep for a solo home run. The homer into the left field seats gave the Astros a 1-0 lead and was Laird’s fourth homer of the season.
The Tribe answered right back in the bottom half of the second inning, however. Carlos Santana singled to center field to start the inning. After Ryan Raburn flew out to right field, Asdrubal Cabrera was safe at first on Laird’s error at third base. It allowed Santana to advance to second base. Michael Brantley singled to left field to load the bases with just one out before Mike Aviles grounded to third base. Laird misplayed the ball, allowing Santana to score before retiring Cabrera out between second and third base. Cleveland tied the score at one before Drew Stubbs struck out to end the inning.
In the fifth inning the Tribe took the lead for good when Raburn singled off Astros’ starter Brett Oberholtzer to start the inning. Cabrera walked to set the table before Brantley grounded to first base. But, Carter threw the ball into left field in his double play attempt, allowing Raburn to score from second base and give the Indians a 2-1 lead. Despite having Brantley and Cabrera in scoring position after the play, Aviles grounded back to the pitcher and Michael Bourn grounded out to end the inning.
McAllister (9-9) worked a scoreless fifth inning before he walked Jose Altuve in the top of the sixth inning. Indians manager Terry Francona removed McAllister for Marc Rzepczynski. Altuve was caught trying to steal second base and Mark Krauss struck out swinging before Bryan Shaw came on for the final out of the inning. Shaw struck out Carter to keep the Indians in the lead.
McAllister allowed just a run on four hits and two walks while striking out three. His home run to Laird was his only mistake. Shaw worked a scoreless sixth inning for an inning and a third of relief before the rain came. The storm line was moving from south to north and reached as far back as Mexico. After an hour and no sign of break in the weather the game was called and given to the Indians. Oberholtzer (4-4) worked all six innings for Houston, not allowing an earned run, but taking the loss.
The victory, combined with the Texas Rangers loss in Kansas City, moves the Indians into a wild card spot. Cleveland now has eight games remaining and controls their own destiny in the playoff chase.
Saturday the Indians will try to defend their playoff spot when left-hander Scott Kazmir (8-9, 4.34) will try to keep the Tribe winning. He’ll be opposed by Houston’s Paul Clemens (4-5, 5.54). The game starts an hour early of the normal start time. Action begins at 6:05 p.m. before fireworks sponsored by Nick Swisher will be after the game.
Photo: Mark Duncan/AP Photo