Houston (CBS HOUSTON) – The Houston Astros put up a fight in the ninth to try hold of the first sweep of the season, but ultimately they fall 8-6 to Cleveland Indians.
Trailing 8-3 in the ninth inning with the Astros down to their last strike, Marwin Gonzalez would take Zach Mcallister deep for a two-run homer (his 10th home run of the year), driving in Carlos Beltran who walked earlier in the inning.
The home run came after a very long 13 pitch at-bat which included Gonzalez fouling off five straight pitches before Mcallister grooved him a fastball down the heart of the plate. The Astros would ride that momentum for another batter when Alex Bregman took the first pitch he saw for a solo home run, Mcallister would regroup and get Nori Aoki to strike out swinging ending the game, and while they scored three in the ninth, they had too much to overcome.
“The one thing about this team, is we never give up,” Carlos Correa said following the game. “You’ve seen that throughout the whole season and you can beat us by six runs, but it doesn’t matter, we are going to try and do our best.”
The offense came through for six runs, but the pitching staff wasn’t able to limit the Indians Sunday afternoon.
Joe Musgrove who started for the Astros only was able to last three innings after giving up seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks.
“Nothing went really right after the first inning,” manager A.J. Hinch said of Musgrove’s start. “I think the command was less than his best.”
Coming off of back to back good starts, Sunday was a little bit of a setback for the rookie pitcher.
“I put together a couple of good (starts) here and there, but I have been myself and I haven’t felt normal really the whole year,” Joe Musgrove said.
Hinch following the game shared he still has plenty of confidence in the back of the team’s starting rotation so Musgrove will continue to get a chance to improve his mechanics, which he feels has been a little bit off this season.
After Musgrove got the yank from Hinch in the fourth inning, Ashur Tolliver came in to eat some innings, and he’d do just that, giving the Astros four innings while only allowing two hits.
Tolliver following the game was optioned back to triple-A. The Astros will make a corresponding move on Monday, likely another arm for the bullpen.
The offense would get four home runs on the day, but they just weren’t able to dig out of the hole Musgrove put them in.
Up next for the Astros will be another A.L. Central team, with the Detriot Tigers in town for a four-game series. On the year the Astros are 2-7 against the A.L. Central and 27-8 vs everyone else.