Indians win to close within half-game of wild card

The Houston Astros have lost a major league-high 102 games. The

last two have been especially painful to manager Bo Porter.

Matt Carson’s two-out, bases-loaded single off Rhiner Cruz in

the 11th inning Thursday gave the Cleveland Indians a 2-1 victory

over Houston.

It was the Astros’ second extra-inning defeat in two nights –

following a 6-5 loss to Cincinnati in 13 innings – and played out

in a similar, fundamentally flawed fashion.

”It’s one thing to get beat, but it’s another thing to beat

yourself,” a fuming Porter said. ”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 games.”

Houston catcher Cody Clark opened the 10th with a double off

Indians reliever Cody Allen, but it went for naught one pitch later

when pinch-runner Jake Elmore was picked off second base. Elmore

was leaning toward third when catcher Yan Gomes gunned him


One day earlier against the Reds, Jose Altuve was caught in an

11th-inning rundown between second and third base. He also was

thrown out, which helped end the rally.

”Honestly, I didn’t even talk to Jake about it, because what is

there to talk about?” Porter said. ”I’m done with the

conversations at this point. Get it done.”

Elmore called his mistake ”inexcusable” and understood why his

manager was so upset.

”He was mad, and he should be,” Elmore said. ”I was being

over-aggressive trying to get to third, and the one thing you can’t

have happen is getting picked off.

”These have been a couple of tough games because we’ve made

some mistakes that are easily avoidable. Mistakes that could

possibly cost us a game.”

Adding to the Astros’ frustration, they were collectively tired

after being unable to check into their downtown Cleveland hotel

until 6:30 a.m. Their home loss to the Reds lasted 5 hours, 13

minutes, delaying their flight out of Houston until the wee hours

of the morning.

Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel, who flew into Cleveland on

Wednesday, started and went seven strong innings. He allowed seven

hits and struck out seven, giving up his lone run in the first on a

single by Jason Kipnis.

”Any time you can limit a good team that’s playing for the

playoffs like Cleveland, it’s pretty good,” said Keuchel, who is

1-0 with a 1.13 ERA in two career starts against the Indians. ”I

felt good and the results were better.”

Houston tied the game in the second against Cleveland

right-hander Ubaldo Jimenez, on L.J. Hoes’ sacrifice fly. Left

fielder Marc Krauss, who attended Ohio University, tied his career

high with three hits.

The score remained that way until Carson’s single in the 11th

off Cruz (0-2), which sliced under the glove of second baseman

Altuve and scored Gomes.

”Our guys kept plugging away and we did some good things to win

that game,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.

The Astros had a golden opportunity to take the lead in the top

of the ninth, loading the bases with one out against Indians closer

Chris Perez.

Krauss doubled, Matt Dominguez was hit by a pitch on his left

hand, and Chris Carter walked, but Perez collected himself and

struck out Brett Wallace and Hoes to end the threat. It was

Wallace’s fourth strikeout of the game.

Indians reliever Bryan Shaw (5-3) picked up the win with one

perfect inning.

Clark, who was 1 for 29 entering the game, had two hits.

NOTES: Astros C Jason Castro (right knee) underwent an

arthroscopic procedure to remove a cyst from his right knee

Thursday in Houston. The All-Star was placed on the DL Tuesday and

will miss the rest of the season. … Astros C Max Stassi

(concussion) has resumed working out and could rejoin the team this

weekend. Stassi has been on the 15-day DL since he was injured at

Texas on Aug. 21. … Houston is playing its first series in

Cleveland since 2000. … Indians third base coach Brad Mills

managed Houston from 2010-2012 before being fired late last season.

His record with the Astros was 171-274. … Indians RHP Zach

McAllister (8-9) takes on Astros LHP Brett Oberholtzer (4-3) in the

second game of the four-game set Friday.