The Cleveland Indians defeated the Houston Astros 2-1 in a rain shortened Friday night affair in front of 17, 310 fans. The victory along with the Texas Rangers loss to the Kansas City Royals moves the Indians into the 2nd wild card position. The Tribe remains a game behind the Tampa Bay Rays who defeated the Baltimore Orioles 5-4 in 18 innings.
Brett Oberholtzer (4-4, 2.71) pitched well but took the loss as his defense let him down behind him. He worked 6 innings allowing 2R/0ER walking 3 and striking out 2.
The game was called in the middle of the 7th inning with the Indians up 2-1. The question that will be asked is whether or not the Commissioner of baseball should have the ability to “suspend” rain games in the best interest of baseball.
The Astros jumped on top 1-0 in the top of the 2nd inning as Brandon Laird turned on a Zach McAllister 83-mph slider for his 4th homer of the year.
The Tribe came back in the bottom of the frame with help from the Astros defense. Carlos Santana led off the inning with a single and with 1-out Asdrubal Cabrera reached base on an error by 3rd baseman Brandon Laird. Michael Brantley singled to load the bases and bring Mike Aviles to the plate. Aviles sent a grounder to Brandon Laird which should have been a 5-4-3 double play but he was unable to field it cleanly as Carlos Santana crossed home plate.
The Astros defense opened the door for the Indians to plate their second run in the bottom of the fourth. Ryan Raburn singled with one out and advance to second on an Asdrubal Cabrera walk. Michael Brantley sent a groundball to Chris Carter who threw to 2nd base to start the 3-6-3 double play but his throw sailed into left field allowing Raburn to hobble home with the Indians second run.
The throw home hit Raburn and both Cabrera and Brantley moved into scoring position. Drew Stubbs walked to load the bases with 2-outs but Michael Bourn grounded out to Jose Altuve to end the inning and keep the score at just 2-1.
The Astros had a chance to come back and either tie the game or take a lead in the top of the 5th. After Brandon Laird grounded out to begin the inning J.D. Martinez singled and moved to second on a Carlos Corporan 4-pitch walk. L.J. Hoes followed with a single to center but Martinez was held up at 3rd. With the bases loaded Jonathon Villar grounded into the 4-6-3 double play.
McAllister came out to begin the 6th inning but walked Jose Altuve on 4-pitches and was removed for Marc Rzcepczynski. With Marc Krauss batting Jose Altuve was caught trying to steal second. Rzcepczyski struck out Krauss and was replaced by Bryan Shaw who struck out Chris Carter to end the inning.
Bryan Shaw continues to be superb in the 2nd half of the season especially in September. He has appeared in 9 games this month working 11.1 scoreless innings allowing only 6 hits striking out 9 and walking 0.
It’s September 20th and the Indians are holding a playoff spot. I’m not going to complain about anything.