“I thought it was OK,” Morton said. “I thought I made some really good pitches and I thought I got away with some really bad pitches.”
Morton (6-0) allowed one run and four hits with eight strikeouts in extending his career-high winning streak to nine straight dating back to last September. He lowered his ERA to 1.94.
“I think I’m surprised at how effective my four-seamer is and it’s made my job easier,” Morton said. “I don’t feel like I’m really pitching that well. I’m not really executing a ton of pitches. My stuff is playing in the zone pretty well.”
Morton retired 19 of the first 21 batters.
“Really good fastball, really good breaking ball, occasional split and really just one pitch that leaked over the middle of the plate to (Edwin) Encarnacion,” Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. “I’m really happy that our team responded and he got the win. But an excellent performance and very methodical for him of the way he’s been pitching.”
Clevinger allowed three runs, eight hits and four walks with six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
“More of a tip of the cap to the defense,” Clevinger said. “I feel like I was kind of erratic at times. I made some pitches, and the defense was there to back me up.”
Clevinger has allowed fewer than three runs in each of his last four starts.
MOMENT FOR SANTA FE
The Astros held a moment of silence prior to the game and flew the Texas flags at Minute Maid Park at half-staff in support of the victims and their families connected to the shooting that killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School earlier in the day. Santa Fe is roughly 30 miles southeast of Houston.
A moment of silence was held at Minute Maid Park in Houston to honor those who lost their lives in the tragedy at Santa Fe High School today. pic.twitter.com/1ompjfCSNu
Indians RHP Trevor Bauer wrote the name “Tyler” on a piece of tape and put it above Bauer on the back of his jersey. Bauer had a Twitter fight with several Astros players earlier this month after insinuating their pitchers were using sticky substances. Astros SS Alex Bregman replied to Bauer on Twitter, calling him Tyler. Bauer later denied that he was accusing the Astros of cheating.
HE SAID IT
“There’s not much room for error. They are pretty loaded top to bottom. We are right there from top to bottom. We are right there with them. There’s not anything they have that we don’t have. They aren’t that special.” – Clevinger said of the Astros’ lineup.
Astros: OF Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup about 2 1/2 hours before first pitch with left leg irritation.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (6-2) will make his tenth start of the season in the second game of the three-game series Saturday. Kluber has allowed three runs or fewer in every start this season and each of his last 21 starts dating back to last season.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-5) takes the mound Saturday looking for his third straight win. Keuchel, who is 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his career against the Indians, has gone at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.