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Houston uses home runs to down Tribe

MLB: Houston Astros at Cleveland Indians Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Indians’ starter Mike Clevinger wasn’t awful on Thursday evening in his start against the Astros. He was, however, wild enough to work his pitch count up and get himself in just enough trouble for Houston to ultimately make him and the Tribe pay.

The Astros hit a pair of three-run homers and used those to cruise down the stretch in their 8-2 victory Thursday over the Indians.

Clevinger held Houston scoreless through the first four innings, but labored plenty. In the fifth, he gave up a single to Jake Marisnick and then promptly picked him off, giving the feel of another Clevinger get-out-of-trouble act. But it wasn’t to be, as he then hit Tony Kemp and walked George Springer on four pitches to fall right back into a jam. That brought up third baseman Alex Bregman, who deposited a 2-2, 77 mph hanging slider over the wall in left field for a three-run blast. To call the pitch a “spinner” would be kind. The homer gave the Astros their first runs and first lead of the night.

Two Astros’ singles in the sixth inning ran Clevinger from the game, meaning it was Indians’ bullpen roulette again. Tyler Olson was up first and faced just one batter, giving up a single, and then it was Neil Ramirez, who promptly saw his 95 mph fastball smoked to dead center field by Marisnick for another three-run homer. And that was that.

A few positives were that it was a gorgeous night in Cleveland and there was a solid crowd on hand (but looked larger than the announced 19,660). The Tribe finished with seven hits, and Michael Brantley drove in the good guys’ only runs. Brantley is slashing .335/.371/.555 with 32 RBI’s so far this year. Money well-spent fellas.

The Indians turn to Corey Kluber tomorrow night, so that’s another positive, while the Astros will start Dallas Keuchel. A great matchup and hopefully a better result for the Tribe.