CLEVELAND -- Having matched the franchise record for best 20-game start in club history, the injured and sore Houston Astros will try to add to their historic run Wednesday at Progressive Field in the second game of a three-game series with the Cleveland Indians.
The biggest question surrounding the Astros is who will play in the outfield. Prior to the Tuesday game, the Astros placed outfielder Jake Marisnick on the seven-day concussion disabled list.
To replace Marisnick on the roster, the Astros recalled outfielder Teoscar Hernandez from Triple-A Fresno. Hernandez entered Tuesday's game in the eighth inning as a defensive replacement in right field. Two batters later, he left the game on a cart. Hernandez sustained a left knee contusion due to a jarring collision with second baseman Jose Altuve as the two players converged on a fly ball hit by Yan Gomes.
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"It was a nasty collision, with both guys going after the ball," Houston manager A.J. Hinch said. "Teo took more of the brunt of it. Jose was jarred. We'll see how Jose is tomorrow. He'll probably feel like he was in a car wreck, but I feel pretty good about him."
George Springer, another injured outfielder, was not in the starting lineup Tuesday due to a strained hamstring. Springer was forced into action, replacing the injured Hernandez.
All of which leaves Houston's outfield situation up in the air. Hinch said team officials would meet and decide whether a roster move or two would be made prior to the Wednesday game.
In the meantime, the Astros are rolling. They have won 10 of their last 12 games, improving to 14-6 for the fifth time in franchise history. The Astros also won 14 of their first 20 games in 1979, 1980, 1986 and 2006.
"They have a very athletic lineup. They don't chase pitches, and if you make a mistake in the middle of the plate, they can change the game," said Cleveland right-hander Josh Tomlin, who held the Astros to three runs over six innings Tuesday but still got tagged with the loss.
The pitching matchup Wednesday features one starter who has dominated his opponent and another who has never faced his foe.
Right-hander Trevor Bauer (1-2, 6.35 ERA) will start for Cleveland. In two starts last year against Houston, Bauer was 2-0 with a 3.75 ERA, and in five career starts against the Astros, he is 5-0 with a 1.97 ERA.
Houston's Lance McCullers (2-0, 3.38) will make his first career appearance against the Indians, so Cleveland hitters will be as new to the right-hander as he will be to them. One Indians hitter McCullers will have to pay particular attention to is third baseman Jose Ramirez, who has been one of the hotter batters in the league since the start of the season.
Ramirez, who is hitting .319 with five home runs and 17 RBIs, is particularly dangerous at Progressive Field. He has hit safely in six of the seven home games the Indians have played this year, and he has hit safely in 43 of his past 48 home games going back to last year.
This season, Ramirez is batting a league-leading .520 (13-for-25) at home.