It was a beautiful night in Houston for a baseball game. The Cleveland Indians came to town to face the first place Astros. On the mound for the Indians was RHP Trevor Bauer and for the Astros, it was RHP Gerrit Cole. After a 10-game winning streak, the Stros went 3-4 in the last seven that included a three-game losing streak.
The drama began early when the Indians Jose Ramirez got on board with a walk. He stole second and the umpires had to review it to be sure and he was called safe. The next batter was 1B Carlos Sanatana and he got on via a walk by Cole. It was first and second with two outs, but Cole got out of the jam by getting RF Carlos Gonzalez to strikeout.
After a quiet second inning, the Indians came up in their half of the third. Cole was able to strike out the first two batters, Greg Allen and Francisco Lindor. Then, Leonys Martin came up and just cleared the right field wall for a solo home run. It was the first hit of the night for the Indians. After two and a half innings, it was 1-0 Cleveland.
In the bottom of the third, Bauer got the first two Astros out and looked to be cruising. Up came DH George Springer and on a 2-2 count, he took Bauer deep and out of Minute Maid Park to left to tie the game at 1-1. It was Springer’s eighth homer of the year and RBI number 21.
The Indians struck again in the fifth when DH Jake Bauers led off the inning with a towering homer to left to give his team a 2-1 lead. Although it was just the third hit of the game for Cleveland, the homer seemed to light a fire under them. Still, it was a close game and the crowd let the home team know they were with them.
Through five innings the game was a close one with both teams holding their own. It was one of those games that felt like one inning just might make the difference for one of these teams. Both Cole and Bauer had pitched five solid innings up to this point and it was just a matter of who would flinch first.
Cole was done after seven innings and 103 pitches but pitched well. He gave up two runs, both earned, walked three and struck out ten. After the home run he gave up to Bauers, Cole retired eight of the last nine batters he faced. Will Harris came in to relieve him in the eighth and took care of the Indians to keep the Astros deficit at 2-1.
Roberto Osuna came on in the ninth to hold the Indians down and did just that with a three up, three down frame. In the bottom of the ninth, it was do or die for the home team.
Brad Hand took over for Bauer who went eight strong innings. He gave up one run, earned, walked six and struck out three to get to 3-1 on the year. Cole took the loss and fell to 1-4 on the season.
For the Astros, it was a hard night, especially for their stars. Jose Altuve would go 0-2 with two walks but was caught stealing in the eighth trying to get a rally going. Alex Bregman went 0-3 with a walk and could not come through in the eighth when his team really needed it. Carlos Correa went 1-3 with a walk but hit into a key double play in the sixth with two runners on base. On the play, Correa did not run out the play to first because he thought he hit the ball off of his foot. After the umpires huddled, they decided that none of them could actually say they saw the ball hit Correa’s foot.
When you look back at the game, it was just that kind of night for the Astros. The kind of night where things just don’t go your way. The teams return for game two of this four-game set tomorrow.