(Sunday, June 24th)
Final Score: Houston 7, Cleveland 1
Houston, TX (Sports Network) - J.A. Happ continued a strong run of Houston pitching with seven sharp innings, and the Houston Astros used a late power surge to beat the Cleveland Indians, 7-1, and win the three-game series.
Happ (6-7), who has recorded each of his six victories at home, made sure the Astros allowed two or fewer runs for the fifth straight game. The lefty yielded only one run on four hits, although Houston has won only two of the aforementioned five.
"It was good. I felt in control out there," Happ said.
Chris Johnson and J.D. Martinez both homered in a four-run eighth inning for the Astros.
Derek Lowe (7-6) dropped his third straight decision and fifth out of six for the Indians, who gave up 15 runs in the last two games after Friday's shutout.
Casey Kotchman had a pair of hits in defeat.
"We struggled, big time, offensively the whole series," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "When you score four runs in a three-game series, there are times when you don't even win a ballgame."
Despite the six-run margin, it looked early on as if the Indians had the upper hand.
In the second, Jose Lopez doubled and eventually scored on a wild pitch, and it seemed as though Derek Lowe was putting together a quality outing.
Lowe retired the first 11 hitters he faced, taking him to two outs in the fourth. He was unable to get past Carlos Lee, however, and Lee kept the inning alive with a single.
Brian Bogusevic followed with another base hit, and Johnson's looping single to center scored Lee and tied the game. From that point, it was all Houston.
In the sixth, with the game still tied, Jed Lowrie doubled with one out and scored on Lee's subsequent single to center. A double play groundout in the seventh scored Johnson, who led off with a base hit, to make it 3-1.
The game would have ended closer if not for the Cleveland bullpen, which surrendered two-run homers to both Johnson and Martinez in the eighth.
After Happ's shaky second, no Indians batter reached as far as third base.
Houston second baseman Jose Altuve left the game with a strained right hamstring...The Astros had four hits with runners in scoring position...Happ has received a decision in 11 straight starts.
06/24 20:04:26 ET