The Cleveland Indians will try to win their fifth game in a row this afternoon when they take on the Houston Astros in the second test of a three-game set at Minute Maid Park.
The Indians continued to roll on Friday night, winning 2-0 behind a much- needed night of great pitching.
Ubaldo Jimenez (7-5) struggled at times, allowing four hits and four walks over 6 2/3 innings, but he didn't allow a run and earned the win. He also struck out a season-high eight batters.
Chris Perez struck out the side in the ninth innings for his American League- leading 23rd save.
The Indians got on the board early with an Asdrubal Cabrera sacrifice fly in the top of the first. They added an insurance run in the top of the ninth on a Michael Brantley RBI single.
"When you win those ballgames (like tonight), it's a good sign," Indians manager Manny Acta said. "It means that you can't go back into the game and look at mistakes that you made that cost you a game."
Lucas Harrell (6-6) pitched very well in defeat, allowing just one earned run over seven innings of work while striking out nine.
Chris Johnson had two of Houston's four hits on the night.
Jeanmar Gomez will take the mound for the Indians this afternoon, and his season has been largely a struggle so far.
The 24-year old Venezuelan has an ERA of 4.95, has struck out just 32 batters to 25 walks, and holds a 4-6 record, which includes losses in four of his last five outings.
This afternoon marks the fourth start for the right-hander in interleague play this season. He's lost his last two, falling to Pittsburgh on June 17 and to Cincinnati on June 12, but he had one of his best starts of the year in a victory over Miami on May 19, allowing three hits and no runs in 6 1/3 innings.
For the Astros, Dallas Keuchel will make his second career start. He was impressive in his major league debut on June 17 at Texas, going five innings and allowing just one earned run, though he struggled with his command, walking four.
"Any time a guy can come in and do what he did in his first major league start, it's a success," Astros manager Brad Mills said of Keuchel's outing. "He had the bases loaded in the third and the fourth, but he battled through it."
The 24-year old left-hander was called up from Triple-A Oklahoma City, where he was 5-4 with a 4.26 ERA.