Kemp hits tiebreaking homer, Astros beat Indians 4-3 in 10
HOUSTON (AP) — Tony Kemp just wanted to get on base.
He ended up touching every one of them.
“Not sure I was ready to walk it off,” Kemp said. “Looking for a walk there, but I’ll take a home run.”
It was Kemp’s second homer this year and his first career game-ending hit. Coming into the day, he was just 5 for 35 on the season.
“Opportunities are coming and going, and they’re inconsistent, but his approach to the game and his approach to the role hasn’t changed,” Houston manager AJ Hinch said. “He’s always ready, and he’s frustrated with himself when he doesn’t get on base, but who needs a walk when you can hit a homer? What a huge time to do it.”
Kemp’s pinch-hit drive off Adam Cimber (2-2) traveled just inside the right-field foul pole. Kemp said he was told at the start of the 10th that he would lead off the bottom of the inning.
“I just went down, saw some video on him and just tried to see his release point,” Kemp said. “After he got to 2-1 and missed with the backdoor slider, I was just looking for a heater right there and put it in play.”
Roberto Osuna (2-0) threw two scoreless innings for the win.
Houston opened a 3-1 lead on Carlos Correa’s two-run homer in the sixth, but Cleveland responded with two in the seventh. Francisco Lindor had a pinch-hit sacrifice fly before Mike Freeman singled in Tyler Naquin, tying it at 3.
Freeman had struggled since he was promoted from Triple-A Columbus on April 16.
“Guys come up and it’s human nature that they press a little bit,” manager Terry Francona said. “I told him, ‘Just be who you are.’ Because he can hit; he’s a good hitter.”
Brad Peacock pitched six effective innings for the Astros, allowing one run and four hits. The right-hander struck out seven and walked one.
“I had a different approach today,” Peacock said. “I was trying to work off the heater. I stuck with the game plan. I think it made my slider a lot better and my changeup better.”
Shane Bieber struck out nine in six innings for the Indians. He was charged with three runs and three hits.
“I thought it was a good bounce-back outing from my last one,” Bieber said. “I thought I kept them off balance pretty well throughout the whole game.”
The Astros grabbed the lead on Aledmys Diaz’s RBI double in the second. The Indians tied it when Jose Ramirez scored on Carlos Santana’s double-play grounder in the fourth.
Leonys Martin appeared to have a leadoff homer for Cleveland in the first. But it was ruled foul after a replay review, and Martin popped out.
BAUER-BREGMAN FEUD CONTINUES
Cleveland right-hander Trevor Bauer posted a 10-second video on Twitter on Friday night during which he asks an Alex Bregman bobblehead — the Astros’ giveaway on Friday — “What’s up little buddy, did I dominate you last night?” The bobblehead’s head bounces up and down in response. Bauer pitched eight innings in Thursday’s 2-1 win over the Astros.
“If he calls that dominating, then I’m very happy for him,” Bregman said Saturday. Bregman added sarcastically that he was proud of Bauer.
The pair also clashed last season after Bauer insinuated in a tweet that Houston pitchers were using sticky substances to increase spin rates. Bregman called Bauer “Tyler” in a reply to the tweet. Bauer denied he was accusing the Astros of cheating.
The feud continued during the offseason when Bauer challenged Bregman to take batting practice off him and offered to donate money to charity for every home run for the third baseman. Bregman turned down the offer.
Indians: RHP Carlos Carrasco (2-2, 6.00 ERA) starts the finale of the four-game series Sunday night. He threw four scoreless innings before leaving his last start Tuesday against the Marlins with left knee discomfort.
Astros: LHP Wade Miley (1-2, 3.58 ERA) will make his sixth start of the season.