Astros find offense in 8-1 win over Indians
HOUSTON (AP) — Cleveland starter Jeanmar Gomez was perfect through four innings on Saturday.
Things went downhill quickly after that.
Gomez shut down Houston's offense early, but the Astros put up four runs in the fifth and cruised to an 8-1 win.
Gomez (4-7) retired his first 12 batters before Brian Bogusevic hit a leadoff double in the fifth. Chris Johnson followed with an RBI double, and J.D. Martinez and Jordan Schafer hit consecutive home runs with one out.
Gomez gave up one more run in the sixth inning when Jed Lowrie walked, and Carlos Lee drove him in with a double.
He retired one more batter before being replaced by Tony Sipp. Gomez allowed six hits, five runs, a walk and struck out three in 5 2-3 innings.
"He started well, went perfect through four innings, but they got on him in the fifth when he made some mistakes," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "I don't know if he started thinking about it in the fifth, but it's a long way to go to get 27 outs."
Gomez said the mounting pressure from his dominance in the first few innings had nothing to do with his struggles in the fifth.
"I was just thinking about making good pitches," Gomez said. "I tried not to think about expectations, but I just had that one bad inning."
It was another down performance for him in what has been a very inconsistent June. His earned run average this month is 7.20 after posting a 4.41 ERA through April and May.
But the pitching struggles didn't end after Gomez was taken out of the game.
Sipp pitched 1 1-3 scoreless innings, striking out two, but his replacement, Jeremy Accardo let the Astros put the game far out of reach.
Houston extended its lead to seven runs in the eighth when Jose Altuve led with a home run. Lowrie and Lee followed with back-to-back doubles, and Johnson added another double to score Lee.
Accardo allowed three runs and four hits in one inning.
Houston had a season-high nine extra-base hits on Saturday and matched the run output of the previous four games.
Cleveland's struggles against left-handed pitchers continued against rookie Dallas Keuchel. While the Indians have a .267 average against right-handed pitchers, they are hitting just .216 against lefties — the lowest in baseball.
Acta said Keuchel's success wasn't about his club's problems with left-handers.
"Don't take any credit away from him because he was good," Acta said. "He pounded the strike zone and mixed his pitches very well."
Cleveland scored its only run on a homer by Asdrubal Cabrera in the fourth inning.
Shin-Soo Choo led off the ninth with a double to deep left field, Cabrera grounded out, and Jason Kipnis followed with a single to move Choo to third, but that was as close as Cleveland would come to scoring again as Keuchel retired the next two batters.
Kipnis, who bats left, went 3 for 4 and had half of Cleveland's hits.
Keuchel (1-0) pitched a complete game, allowing just six hits and striking out three. He walked only one.
"Their kid pitched a tremendous game," Acta said. "He pitched very effectively, changed speed very well and did an outstanding job."
Choo, who hits .312 against right-handed pitchers and .183 against left-handers, went 1 for 4.
"I never really think about it, I just think about me," Choo said. "It feels like we're getting better."
NOTES: Cabrera's home run in the fourth inning gave him his 33rd RBI of the season, second-best in the American League among shortstops. . Houston LF Justin Maxwell was scratched from the lineup because of an injured left ankle that has been bothering him for a while. He was replaced by Martinez. . These teams wrap up the series on Sunday when Cleveland's Derek Lowe opposes left-hander J.A. Happ.