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David Murphy's late heroics help the Indians beat the Astros 4-2

Trevor Bauer was outstanding yet again, holding one of the league's best offenses to two runs over eight innings of work.

David Murphy's two-run double in the eighth turned out to be the difference in the game.
David Murphy's two-run double in the eighth turned out to be the difference in the game.
David Richard-USA TODAY Sports

Indians 4, Astros 2

box score

Indians improve to 40-44

In the bottom of the eighth David Murphy faced a left-handed pitcher, something he's rarely done this year. Ryan Raburn, his dopplegange, was on the bench, but manager Terry Francona elected to stick with Murphy against the left-handed Joe Thatcher rather than have Raburn face a right-handed pitcher, which almost surely would have happened.

Assuming you read the title of this article (and you'd be a strange person indeed if you read the article without first reading the title and then the comments), you have a good idea as to what happened next, but you may not know how the Indians and Astros came to be tied in the bottom of the eighth. Trevor Bauer gave up a two-run homer to Evan Gattis (who somehow got around on a fastball that looked to be head-high) but allowed nothing after that. In the past couple outings, we've seen a more efficient Bauer, and tonight he exemplified efficiency after a tough first inning in which he threw 40 pitches. He allowed four hits over his last seven innings of work, and if the game had remained tied in the ninth, he would have gone out to for that frame. Trevor struck out 9 (typical) and didn't walk a batter (atypical). Bauer came into tonight's game the league leader in walks, and rarely came close to walking a batter, throwing 75 out of his 108 pitches for strikes.

The Indians responded to the Astros' two runs in the top of the first with a run of their own in the bottom of the frame. Jason Kipnis led off the inning with a triple then score on a Francisco Lindor groundout. The Tribe tied the game in the fourth with another groundout, this time off the bat of Carlos Santana. After that Bauer and Houston starter Dan Straily traded scoreless frames until the eighth.

Francisco Lindor, who has hit several balls hard over the past few days, dropped a ball into right left field and turned an easy single into a hustle double. Reliever Joe Thatcher pitched around Brantley, walking him on four straight, which did set up a double play with one out in the inning. That's when Francona decided to let Murphy hit against Thatcher, and the result was a two-run double and eventually a 4-2 Tribe victory. Cody Allen, who didn't pitch last night because of a sore back, was perfect in nailing down the save, striking out fastball-masher Gattis on an upper-90s fastball and getting Colby Rasmus and Chris Carter to hit weak popups to end the game.

Over the past two games the Indians have held the Houston Astros, who own one of baseball's most potent offenses, to two runs. The Tribe offense hasn't contributed much over those two games, but because of the pitching they've both been victories.

The Indians seek to win the series tomorrow, with Cody Anderson facing off against Brett Oberholtzer at 7:10 PM.

Win Probability Chart

Source: FanGraphs

Roll Call

Game Thread

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