Houston Astros (55-75) at Cleveland Indians (65-63), 1:05 p.m. (ET)
08/23/2014 10:35 AM
08/24/2014 10:39 AM
(SportsNetwork.com) - With a six-game road trip against American League Central foes looming, the Cleveland Indians try to close out a three-game set at Progressive Field against the Houston Astros on a positive note Sunday afternoon.
Currently third in the AL Central standings, seven games off the pace set by the surprising Kansas City Royals, Cleveland is coming off a thrilling 3-2 victory on Saturday thanks to a Jose Ramirez walk-off single that scored Tyler Holt in the bottom of the ninth. Ramirez had two hits in the meeting, as did Lonnie Chisenhall and Chris Dickerson, the former also scoring a run for the Tribe as they remained in contention of a wild card spot.
"It's a lot of fun," Holt said after the win. "But I don't think we're letting it get stressful. I think we understand that we're here for a reason. They called us up here for a reason, because they believe we can do it."
Because of the late-game heroics, reliever Cody Allen picked up his fifth win of the season after striking out a pair in the top of the ninth, his only inning of action. Cleveland starter Danny Salazar made it through six innings, giving up just one earned run on three hits and a couple of walks, striking out seven along the way as the Indians moved to 38-25 at home on the season.
Collin McHugh made the start for Houston on the mound, getting through 5 1/3 innings as he surrendered two runs and scattered eight hits. Jake Buchanan was eventually charged with the loss after giving up two hits and a walk and recording only a single out.
The Astros, now 20 games under .500 and 22 games out of first in the AL West, managed a mere three hits in the meeting, one each by Robbie Grossman, Jose Altuve and Jake Marisnick. Altuve, who was credited with the only RBI of the game for Houston, is now batting .333 and has 46 stolen bases to his credit.
Seeking his first win since Aug. 2, Brett Oberholtzer steps to the hill for the Astros this afternoon in Cleveland. The left-hander was on the winning side in his most recent outing on Tuesday, a 7-4 triumph over the New York Yankees in the Bronx, but he didn't factor into the decision.
The Delaware native lasted 5 1/3 innings for the visitors, giving up four runs on seven hits and a walk, while fanning seven.
Now in just his second major league campaign, Oberholtzer lost his only previous decision against the Indians and has a 2.25 ERA in two appearances versus the Tribe.
Trevor Bauer, a right-hander for the Indians, is set to take on the Astros for the first time in his career. Bauer has not registered a win in more than a month, losing three of his last six outings, although he has gone without a decision in each of his last two appearances.
Bauer was pitted against Minnesota at Target Field on Tuesday and stuck around for 4 2/3 innings as he gave up five runs on four hits and two walks, while striking out four.
Bauer is stepping into a very favorable situation today as Houston ranks last in the American League in team batting with a .240 average. However, the Astros are third in the league in home runs with 143.
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