The scrappy Indians just keep finding ways to win.
Today, it was a pair of midseason call-ups that helped the Indians to a 3-1 victory over the Houston Astros. Jose Ramirez logged three hits—giving him seven in the series—while Trevor Bauer tossed shutout baseball into the seventh inning. Each seem to be finding their roles on the new-look Indians. Sunday the Tribe mustered enough offense, using a pair of two-out base hits, to come back and win the series with the Astros after dropping the first game on Friday.
Cleveland had a chance to crack the scoreboard in the second inning, but could not get the timely hit. Tyler Holt started the inning with an infield hit off Brett Oberholtzer and advanced to second base on his throwing error. Mike Aviles grounded to third base, but third baseman Matt Dominguez opted to try and cut down Holt at second. Holt dove back into the bag safely and the Indians had a pair on with just one out. However, Lonnie Chisenhall and Roberto Perez each struck out to leave the runners stranded.
The Tribe was able to post a tally on the scoreboard in the third inning and take an early lead. Michael Bourn reached safely on a bunt single to start the inning and scampered to third base on Ramirez’s double. Jason Kipnis lined to third base at the drawn in infield before Carlos Santana flew out to right field. Santana’s fly ball was deep enough to right that Jake Marisnick could not throw out Bourn at the plate and the Tribe took a 1-0 lead.
Meanwhile, Bauer pitched around trouble in the early going. Bauer has struggled in the early innings during the last month, but Sunday he allowed a hit in each of the first three innings, although Houston could not score. In the fourth inning, after striking out two to start the inning, he hit Marwin Gonzalez with a pitch and walked Carlos Corporan, before striking out Dominguez to end the inning. Through four innings, Bauer scattered three hits and struck out three, while walking a pair.
The Feisty Featherheads extended their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning with a little two-out rally. After two were gone in the inning, Aviles doubled to left field and easily scored when Chisenhall laced a single to right field. Chisenhall’s 47th run batted in on the season gave the Tribe a 2-0 lead.
Bauer settled down and cruised through the fifth and sixth innings, allowing just a hit. After starting the seventh over 100 pitches, Bauer exited after walking Corporan to start the inning. Bauer (5-7) pitched six shutout innings, allowing four hits and three walks, while striking out nine. The young right-hander continues to grow as a starting pitcher and grow in the Indians’ rotation. Scott Atchison finished the seventh, keeping the shutout in tact.
Cleveland used another two-out base hit to add another insurance run in the bottom of the seventh inning. Chisenhall started the inning with a single to right field and advanced to second base on a balk. After Perez bunted him to third base and Bourn weakly grounded back to the pitcher, Ramirez singled back up the middle for his third hit of the game and seventh of the series.
After Kipnis singled to left field, Oberholtzer’s (4-9) day was complete. He tossed six and two-third innings, allowing three runs on 10 hits and no walks, while striking out six. Mike Foltynewicz finished the inning for Houston and set the Tribe down in order in the eighth.
Houston finally tallied a run in the top of the eighth inning off Bryan Shaw. After Shaw retired the first two hitters, Marc Krauss singled and scored all the way from first base when Jon Singleton doubled down the left field line. Singleton’s knock cut the Indians’ lead to 3-1.
Cody Allen worked the ninth inning, registering his 17th save of the season and giving the Indians a series win. Allen allowed a walk and a pair of singles, loading the bases, before striking out Dexter Fowler to end the game. Cleveland dropped the first game on Friday night, but came back to win the weekend. The Tribe is now 66-63, tying their high water mark of the season.
Ramirez’s three hits were aided by a pair each from Kipnis and Chisenhall. Ramirez was the catalyst to the Indians’ offense most of the weekend, including Saturday night’s game-winning, base hit. Cleveland banged out 10 hits and used a pair of sacrifice bunts to aid the scrappy, speedy offense.
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