Philip Humber continued a recent disturbing trend for Houston’s starting pitchers Saturday night.
Humber became the third Astros starter in five games to fail to make it out of the first inning in a 19-6 loss to the Cleveland Indians.
Jason Giambi, Mark Reynolds and Carlos Santana homered to help the Indians to the victory.
”It’s hard on the bullpen,” Humber said. ”We haven’t exactly held our end of the bargain the last week or so, so we have to pick it up as starters.”
In the last week, both Erik Bedard and Bud Norris gave up six runs before being chased in the first inning of Houston losses.
Giambi had five RBI and Reynolds drove in four runs on Saturday night, but Scott Kazmir was unable to get the win in his first major league appearance since he recorded five outs in a start for the Los Angeles Angels at Kansas City on April 3, 2011. The left-hander allowed six runs and seven hits in 3 1/3 innings.
Cleveland roughed up Humber (0-4) and finished with 22 hits while stopping a five-game slide. It was the highest-scoring game for the Indians since a 19-1 victory at Kansas City on May 16, 2011, and their most hits since they had 25 in a 22-4 win at the New York Yankees on April 18, 2009.
”It was a little bit of him not having it and a lot of the Indians putting swings together,” Houston manager Bo Porter said. ”You’ve got to give them credit. They got some pitches to hit and they didn’t miss them.”
Humber (0-4) recorded just one out on the eve of the anniversary of his perfect game. He was charged with eight runs and eight hits in the shortest start of his career.
”It’s tough to make any adjustments,” he said. ”It seemed like they were jumping on the first thing I threw over the plate every time and hitting the ball hard.”
Reliever Paul Clemens allowed just one hit over the last 3 1/3 innings for the Astros. He has not allowed a run in 8 2/3 innings.
”It was very much needed,” Porter said. ”When you get into a game like this, the last thing you want to do is go through your entire bullpen. Paul did a tremendous job of saving the rest of the bullpen.”
The Indians managed just 11 runs and 33 hits during their losing streak. The 42-year-old Giambi was 1 for 12 for a .083 batting average coming into the game. His big day raised his average to .188.
Corey Kluber (1-0) pitched four innings of two-hit ball to get the win.
Brandon Barnes hit a two-run homer and Brandon Laird had a solo shot, but it wasn’t nearly enough for Houston.
The Indians had nine consecutive batters reach base with one out in the first. Giambi belted a two-run double and Reynolds hit a three-run homer.
Cleveland added six more in the second, taking advantage of two errors by Houston. Dallas Keuchel also walked Michael Brantley to force home a run.
Nick Swisher had four hits, including three of Cleveland’s seven doubles, and Brantley added three RBI.
It was the most runs and hits allowed by Houston since Colorado had 25 hits in a 19-3 victory on Sept. 25, 2011.
Kazmir pitched last season in nearby Sugar Land, Texas for the Skeeters of the independent Atlantic League before signing a minor league contract with the Indians in January.
The 29-year-old started the season on the disabled list with a rib cage strain. He grew up in Houston and Saturday was his first career game at Minute Maid Park.
NOTES: Humber pitched the 21st perfect game in major league history on April 21, 2012, for the White Sox against the Seattle Mariners. … Indians SS Asdrubal Cabrera left in the middle of the first inning with a bruised left wrist. … These teams wrap up the series on Sunday when Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez opposes Erik Bedard. … Indians RHP Brett Myers will fly back to Cleveland on Sunday to have tests done on his sore throwing arm. Myers lost Friday night’s game and said after the game that he has been struggling with tendinitis in his arm this season. … Houston placed outfielder J.D. Martinez on the 15-day disabled list with a right knee sprain and activated outfielder Fernando Martinez from the DL. … Cleveland optioned INF Cord Phelps to Triple-A Columbus before the game.