Three Homers Lead the Way as Indians Top Astros 5-3 in Houston; Three Takeaways from the Win
After a homestand in which they Indians lost four of six games, the team quickly got back on track Friday night, beating the Houston Astros 5-3 at Minute Maid Park in Houston.
The Astros have lost just 13 games this season, three of which have come at the hands of the Indians. The win puts the Indians at 21-19 on the season, 13-9 away from Progressive Field.
The offense took awhile to get going, but once it did it was led by the long ball, as the Tribe his three homers with Edwin Encarnacion, Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall all going deep.
Here's our three takeaways from the victory as the team will look for a quick turnaround on Saturday afternoon to try and win the series.
1. Homer Happy
The Indians trailed 2-0 to the Astros and then the Tribe found their offense in the form of the long ball to build an eventual 4-3 lead.
Edwin Encarnacion hit a line drive two-run homer to tie the game in the fourth, and then Jason Kipnis and Lonnie Chisenhall (who is quietly having his best season at the plate) hit solo shots to give the Indians a lead they wouldn't lose.
Of the nine hits on the night, three were homers, and all were needed as the team won by a pair of runs. For Encarnacion, he's got now seven homers on the season, and two in the last three games.
It's been said before that if he can find his stride that will make this offense very dangerous, and it looks like he's starting to get there which is a welcome sight.
2. Bauer Settles In
Indians starter Trevor Bauer went 5.2 innings, and while he allowed two runs in the first three innings, he settled in nicely, retiring 10 in a row at one point as the Tribe offense got going with three homers.
Bauer moved to 4-4 with the win, striking out nine, walking one, allowing three runs on five hits.
He just loves pitching against the Astros, as he's now 7-0 with a 2.89 ERA against them in his career. He's got two wins against them already in 2017, one each at home and on the road.
Bauer has won his last two starts with impressive outings against two first place teams - the Twins and Astros. He's slated to be back on the mound at home Wednesday against the Cincinnati Reds.
3. Flexing Their Muscles
Major League Baseball has been put on notice by the young Astros that they are for real seven weeks into the season, winning 29 games and losing just 13.
The Indians don't seem all that impressed.
They have beaten Houston three of the four games they have played, with Bauer winning two of the starts, and the bullpen doing a nice job when called upon in the three wins to shut the door like Friday as Bryan Shaw, Andrew Miller and Cody Allen all pitched in with scoreless innings for the win.
Many think that Houston is going to be a team that will have to contended with in the month of October, and many seem to feel that if the Indians are going to repeat as AL Champs, they will have to get through the Astros.
Four games into their season series, the Indians have done their part to show they are still the team to beat in the American League. While that might change as the season goes, for now it's the Indians with the early edge against the very good leaders in the AL West.