Houston, TX – J.D. Martinez and Rick Ankiel's back-to-back home runs in the second inning proved just enough for the Houston Astros to end a five-game losing streak by edging the Cleveland Indians, 3-2, in the opener of a three-game series.
Lucas Harrell (1-2) gave up five hits and five walks over 5 2/3 innings, but the only runs he allowed came on Lonnie Chisenhall's two-run homer.
"I was struggling to throw strikes again," Harrell said. "If the defense wouldn't have played so well and we didn't score some runs early, it could have been a rough night."
The bullpen combination of Wesley Wright, Hector Ambriz and Jose Veras closed out Harrell's first win of the season and handed the Indians a fifth straight loss.
Cleveland starter Brett Myers (0-3) continued his struggles out of the gate as the former Astro lasted just five innings and gave up three runs on five hits and two walks.
"His velocity was a little down tonight," Indians manager Terry Francona said of his starter.
After Carlos Pena worked a one-out walk in the second, Martinez stepped in and sent an opposite-field blast into the right-field seats. Ankiel followed with a shot to nearly the same spot off a payoff pitch. It was the 10th home run allowed by Myers already this season.
Mark Reynolds earned a free pass in front of Chisenhall's homer in the fourth, but the Indians couldn't capitalize on plenty of scoring chances the rest of the way.
They wasted back-to-back walks to open the fifth, stranded a runner on second in the seventh and squandered a leadoff double by Nick Swisher in the eighth.
Veras survived a one-out single in the ninth to pick up his first save of the season.
Cleveland has been held to three runs or less in every single game during their losing streak ... Martinez suffered a right knee sprain on a check swing in the fourth inning and is being listed as day-to-day ... The teams combined to go 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, with Cleveland failing on all seven of their chances.