Kluber strikes out 14, Indians top Astros 4-2
HOUSTON (AP) Corey Kluber keeps giving the Indians strong starts when they need them.
The right-hander struck out a career-high 14 in seven innings and Cleveland halted its four-game losing streak with a 4-2 win over the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Kluber (16-9) allowed one run and seven hits to earn his third straight win. His previous high for strikeouts was 13 against the Chicago White Sox on May 4.
He said the strikeouts came down to executing pitches at the right time.
''I didn't consistently execute throughout the entire game, but when I needed to make big pitches, I was able to execute,'' Kluber said. ''Yan (Gomes) did a good job back there, leading me through the early part of the game when I didn't quite have that good of stuff.''
Kluber has allowed four runs over his last 24 1-3 innings with 29 strikeouts.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona said his emerging ace looked as strong as ever.
''He worked ahead,'' Francona said. ''He usually starts the game out establishing his fastball command; today I think he had to work into it. ... But his stuff is just so late moving and going both directions. Pitching in and opening up away, there's a reason he had those strikeouts.''
Gomes' two-run homer off Darin Downs in the sixth increased Cleveland's lead to 4-1.
Cody Allen got the last out in the eighth and pitched the ninth for his 21st save.
Michael Bourn scored on Carlos Santana's groundout in the first, and the Indians went up 2-1 in the fourth when Lonnie Chisenhall scored on an error by Robbie Grossman after Gomes singled to left field.
Houston's Jose Altuve broke Craig Biggio's club record for hits in a season with his 211th of the year, a single up the middle in the seventh. Altuve tied the record with a double down the left-field line in the fifth.
''When I was a kid growing up watching Craig Biggio and hundreds of players more, you know Biggio is second base,'' Altuve said. ''He got the record. He got 3,000 hits. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame sooner than later. For me to break the record is very important. I would like to have a career of at least 80 percent of the success that Biggio did.''
The 18,381 in attendance gave Altuve a standing ovation for about a minute before he tipped his helmet in both instances. Fireworks went off in the seventh after the record-breaking hit.
After the fifth inning, Altuve went over to Biggio, who was sitting with Nolan Ryan to the right of home plate, and shook his hand.
''It's special for everybody, and special for me because I have known Jose for a long time,'' Houston interim manager Tom Lawless said. ''I saw him start at the beginning, and for me to witness that tonight is pretty special.''
Marwin Gonzalez tied it at 1 in the first with an RBI single to score Altuve, who reached on a fielder's choice. Alex Presley's RBI single in the eighth cut the Cleveland lead to 4-2.
Nick Tropeano (1-1) gave up two runs - one earned - and four hits with four strikeouts in five innings.
Indians: INF Zach Walters (right intercostal) had an MRI and ''structurally he's good,'' Francona said. ''They checked his ribs, things like that, so he's OK there. So we know it's soft tissue; now they've just got to see how he responds and I think the trainers think this might be pretty quick.'' ... OF Ryan Raburn (left knee) flew back to Cleveland to have an MRI on Wednesday.
Astros: Rookie OF George Springer (left quadriceps) won't play again this season, Lawless said. Springer has been on the disabled list since July 20 with the injury.
Indians RHP Carlos Carrasco will be looking to rebound Wednesday when he faces LHP Brett Oberholtzer. Carrasco took his first loss Friday since returning to the rotation in August. Oberholtzer lasted just 4 1-3 innings and allowed four earned runs in his most recent start Friday.