Sitting just outside the AL wild-card picture, the Cleveland
Indians are hoping to continue taking advantage of their favorable
The Indians go for a fourth straight win over the major
league-worst Houston Astros on Friday night.
Matt Carson delivered an RBI single with two outs in the 11th
inning of Thursday’s 2-1 win, Cleveland’s 10th walkoff victory. The
Indians (83-70) are one-half game behind Tampa Bay and Texas, who
are tied atop the wild-card standings, and six behind AL
“We’ll take any win any way we can get it,” manager Terry
Cleveland has three more games against Houston (51-102) before
hosting the last-place Chicago White Sox for two and concluding the
season with four at fourth-place Minnesota.
The Astros have been outscored 32-10 while hitting .130 with
runners in scoring position during a six-game losing streak. They
went 1 for 8 in such situations Thursday.
“It’s one thing to get beat, but it’s another thing to beat
yourself,” said manager Bo Porter, whose team left a season-high 16
runners on base the previous night in a 6-5, 13-inning loss to
“We just squandered opportunity after opportunity with poor
at-bats and bad baserunning. It’s extremely frustrating because
this is basic baseball. We should have won these last two
Brett Wallace is mired in a 4-for-29 slump, and Jonathan Villar
is 1 for his last 14.
Houston, which has dropped three straight in the series by a
26-11 margin, will try to bounce back against Zach McAllister (8-9,
3.96 ERA). The right-hander had gone 0-2 with an 8.78 ERA in his
previous three starts before allowing one run in 6 2-3 innings in
Sunday’s 7-1 road win over the White Sox.
“I thought Zach’s stuff today was probably as good as we’ve
seen,” Francona said. “He had velocity with his fastball and some
power to it and he commanded it in and out very well.”
McAllister has never faced the Astros, who counter with rookie
Brett Oberholtzer (4-3, 2.98).
After allowing one run in 15 innings during his first two starts
this month, Oberholtzer gave up four in six innings Saturday in a
6-2 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels.
“It didn’t look like he had that pinpoint command, that late
life that we had seen in a lot of his previous starts,” Porter
said. “His breaking ball didn’t have the kind of depth that we were
accustomed to, which is a credit to him to not have his good stuff
and still battle and be able to get through six innings.”
The left-hander surrendered home runs to Cleveland’s Carlos
Santana and Drew Stubbs in two innings of relief in his big league
debut April 21.
Oberholtzer also needs to be wary of Nick Swisher, who is 19 for
50 (.380) with five homers and 12 RBIs in his last 13 games.
Michael Bourn had hit safely in eight straight before going 0
for 5 on Thursday. The speedy outfielder, who spent three-plus
seasons with Houston from 2008-11, is 2 for 30 against his former
team since the start of last year.