Encarnacion’s 2-run homer helps Indians beat Astros 5-3
HOUSTON — Edwin Encarnacion hit a two-run homer and Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall had solo shots to help the Cleveland Indians to a 5-3 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.
Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer (4-4) continued his dominance against Houston, yielding five hits and three runs while fanning a season-high nine in 5 2/3 innings to improve to 7-0 in seven career starts against the Astros.
Encarnacion’s home run off Charlie Morton (5-3) tied it at 2-all in the fourth and Kipnis gave the Indians the lead with his home run in the fifth. Chisenhall made it 4-2 with his homer in the sixth before Carlos Correa got Houston within 1 with a home run in the bottom of that inning.
Chisenhall sent home another run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth that pushed the lead to 5-3.
Cleveland’s bullpen threw 3 1/3 scoreless innings capped by a perfect ninth by Cody Allen to help the Indians improve to 14-0 when leading after six innings. Allen has converted each of his 11 save opportunities this season and 20 in a row dating to Aug. 18.
Morton tied a season high with eight hits and the three home runs he gave up tied a career high. He allowed four runs in 5 1/3 innings for his first loss since April 22 to snap a four-game winning streak. It was only the second time he’s allowed three home runs in his career, and the first since April 14, 2010, against the Giants.
Josh Reddick added a solo home run for the Astros, who lost for just the second time in 11 games.
After the home run by Kipnis in the fifth, Francisco Lindor doubled and advanced to third on a groundout by Michael Brantley. Lindor tried to score on a wild pitch by Morton, but catcher Brian McCann tossed it to Morton as he dived in front of Lindor to throw him out at the plate.
Houston cut the lead to 4-3 with Correa’s home run in the sixth inning, which sailed just out of reach of a leaping Chisenhall and into the first row in right field.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead in the first on an RBI single by Carlos Beltran. Reddick’s sixth homer this season landed in the seats in right field to start Houston’s third and extend the lead to 2-0.
Bauer settled in after Reddick’s home run, retiring the next 10 batters with six strikeouts before Correa’s home run with one out in the sixth.
Indians: OF Austin Jackson (toe) went 1 for 3 with a two-run homer in the first game of a rehabilitation assignment at Triple-A Louisville on Friday night. He’ll play there on Sunday and Tuesday before being re-evaluated. … RHP Corey Kluber (lower back strain) will throw a simulated game on Saturday. Manager Terry Francona said he’ll throw at least 45 pitches, but it could be more depending on how he feels. The Indians will decide what his next step is after they see how he comes out of Saturday’s work.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh, who hasn’t played all season because of an elbow injury, is making steady progress, but manager A.J. Hinch said he is unlikely to return to the team before the All-Star break.
Indians: Mike Clevinger (1-1, 2.70 ERA) is scheduled to start on Saturday for Cleveland. Clevinger will pitch on three days’ rest after throwing 1/3 inning of relief on Tuesday.
Astros: Mike Fiers (1-1, 5.75) will start for Houston on Saturday. He didn’t factor into the decision after allowing four hits and four runs in 5 2/3 innings of an 11-6 loss to the Yankees in his last start.