Astros rally vs Miller, pour it on for 11-2 win over Indians
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Houston Astros kicked off a late rally Friday night against relief ace Andrew Miller, then put their entire offensive arsenal on display.
Jose Altuve tied it with a two-run double off Miller in the eighth and then scored the go-ahead run on Marwin Gonzalez’s squeeze bunt, and the Astros scored 11 times in the final two innings to beat the Cleveland Indians 11-2.
Altuve dived across home plate to score on Gonzalez’s bunt against Cody Allen, who then loaded the bases and walked in a run.
Altuve had been hitless in his last 11 at-bats before the clutch double.
“We won the latter half of the game pretty convincingly,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We continued to have good at-bats. If you put up those kind of at-bats against Miller and Allen, that’s a good sign.”
Houston rallied hard for its fifth straight victory, getting three runs off Miller (1-3). The Astros sent 10 men to the plate in the ninth, highlighted by George Springer’s three-run homer.
Miller was pulled after allowing Altuve’s double, and Gonzalez then laid down a perfect bunt toward the mound off Allen. Allen picked up the ball, but his flip to catcher Yan Gomes was too late to get Altuve as he dived across the plate.
“Marwin is as good as anybody we have at that play, and we have one of the fastest runners in baseball at third base,” Hinch said.
Houston has won 13 of 16 and is 4-1 against Cleveland this season.
Miller escaped a seventh-inning jam by getting pinch-hitter J.D. Davis to hit into a double play with the bases loaded. The left-hander was charged with three runs in two-thirds of an inning. Allen loaded the bases and then walked Max Stassi.
Miller has struggled since missing two weeks with a strained hamstring. Springer led off the eighth with a double and Alex Bregman walked. Both runners scored when Altuve doubled into the left field corner.
“I’m definitely not sharp,” Miller said. “I wish I had the answers. I think there’s flashes of it, but it’s been a pretty big grind lately.”
Joe Smith (2-1) recorded the final out in the seventh.
Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel locked up in a battle of AL Cy Young Award winners. Kluber pitched 6 1/3 scoreless innings and Keuchel gave up two runs in six innings.
Kluber was the Cy Young winner in 2014 and last season, while Keuchel won the award in 2015.
Cleveland scored in the third on Jose Ramirez’s RBI double and again in the sixth on Jason Kipnis’ groundball with the bases loaded.
Cleveland’s bullpen continued to struggle. A solid outing by Kluber was wasted and even the two best relievers struggled in the latest loss.
“You’re feeling pretty good,” manager Terry Francona said. “It was 2-0 and (Kluber) gets you into the seventh. We got out of that OK. After that, boy, we didn’t have an answer of anything.”
Game 6 of the Eastern Conference playoffs between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics at Quicken Loans Arena — located across the street from Progressive Field — marked the 14th time the teams have played at home the same day since the start of the 2015 NBA playoffs with the Cavaliers hosting a postseason game.
Kluber struck out seven and moved into third place in franchise history with 1,279 career strikeouts. He trails Hall of Famer Bob Feller (2,581) and Sam McDowell (2,159).
Correa set a team record with his 51st consecutive game without an error at shortstop. Roger Metzger played 50 straight games without an error in 1976.
Brantley extended his hitting streak to 14 games with a third-inning double.
Astros: OF Josh Reddick (leg infection) remains in Houston. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list Monday.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (sore shoulder) will return to Cleveland next week to be examined by the team’s medical staff. The All-Star is in extended spring training in Arizona and hasn’t pitched this season.
RHPs Lance McCullers Jr. and Carlos Carrasco meet Saturday in a rematch of a May 20 game in Houston. McCullers held the Indians to one hit over seven innings and beat the Indians for the first time in his career. Carrasco gave up a two-run homer to Brian McCann in the seventh inning and got the loss.
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