Houston came into the game struggling offensively and having lost five of their last seven games, but they seemed to pick up where they left off in their last series against Cleveland.
Even though he notched a career-high eight strikeouts, J.C. Mejia labored through 4.1 innings of work, making critical mistakes that the Astros did not waste. His slider was untouchable, finishing the night with a 41% CSW%. Houston failed to put a single one of his sliders in play. Unfortunately, Mejia’s sinker was not nearly as adept at avoiding bats. Yuli Gurriel delivered an RBI double off a sinker in the first inning to open up a 1-0 lead for the Astros, and Martín Maldonado lined an RBI single off a sinker in the fourth to plate a run and break a 1-1 tie.
Astros designated hitter Yordan Alvarez effectively put the game out of reach with a two-run homer off Mejia in the fifth inning, taking advantage of a changeup that stayed upstairs.
Two of Cleveland’s three runs came courtesy of Franmil Reyes. He tied the game in the fourth inning with a solo moonshot off Zack Greinke, before lining an RBI single into left field in the sixth inning to cut the deficit to 4-2. Though he did let some of the air out of the balloon on that RBI single when he was thrown out trying to advance to second on a misplay by Michael Brantley. Instead of runners on second and third with one out, Cleveland was forced to settle for a runner at third with two outs. That baserunner, as you might have guessed, was left stranded.
Entering the eighth inning, Cleveland trailed 4-2 thanks to Blake Parker and Trevor Stephan, who managed to hold serve after Mejia surrendered four runs. José Ramírez and Bobby Bradley each walked, before Harold Ramirez lined a two-out RBI double to deep right field. But cutting the Astros’ lead to 4-3 was as close as they would get. Roberto Pérez drew a leadoff walk in the ninth inning, but Cleveland couldn’t do anything with it against Houston closer Ryan Pressly.
Roberto Pérez was also charged with his first passed ball since Sept. 4, 2018. So there’s that.
See you tomorrow, folks.