Marwin Gonzalez and Alex Bregman lift Astros over Cleveland for 2-0 ALDS lead
Marwin Gonzalez hit a go-ahead, two-run double, Alex Bregman homered for the second straight day and the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 3-1 Saturday to take a 2-0 AL Division Series lead.
Gerrit Cole struck out 12 and walked none, combining with two relievers on Houston’s second straight three-hitter. He allowed Francisco Lindor’s third-inning homer.
Gonzalez put the Astros ahead in the sixth with the third of his four hits, an opposite-field double to right off usually reliable reliever Andrew Miller.
Bregman homered against Trevor Bauer in the seventh, and the World Series champions moved within a win of a second straight trip to the AL Championship Series.
Dallas Keuchel starts for the Astros when the series resumes Monday in Cleveland. Mike Clevinger is scheduled to pitch for the Indians.
Cole followed Monday’s solid start from Justin Verlander by allowing one run and three hits in seven innings, joining Tom Seaver (1973) as the only pitchers to strike out at least 12 batters without a walk in a postseason game.
Cleveland starter Carlos Carrasco allowed two runs and six hits in 5 1/3 innings.
The AL Central champion Indians have three runs in the two games and are batting .100 (6 for 60). Jose Ramirez, Edwin ncarnacion and Josh Donaldson have combined to go 1 for 22.
Jose Altuve singled leading off the sixth but slipped as he left the batter’s box and was limping after reaching first base. Manager AJ Hinch and a trainer came out to check on Altuve, who remained in the game.
Bregman walked and one out later, Cleveland brought in Miller, the dominating left-hander who was MVP of the 2016 AL Championship Series but has been slowed by injuries this year.
The switch-hitting Gonzalez turned around and hit right-handed. He fouled off a slider, then doubled on a fastball.
Miller had allowed just one previous inherited runner to score in the postseason, on a sacrifice fly by Boston’s David Ortiz in Game 3 of the 2016 AL Division Series.
Miller walked Carlos Correa on four pitches and loaded the bases with an intentional walk. Bauer, a starter pitching in relief for the second straight day, retired Evan Gattis on a popout and struck out Martin Maldonado.
Cole retired 13 of 14 after Lindor’s homer, striking out the side in the fourth. After fanning Ramirez on three pitches to end the sixth, Cole screamed and pumped both arms as he walked off the mound.
Houston leadoff hitter George Springer went 1 for 4 with a single, ending a streak of five straight postseason games with a home run — one shy of Daniel Murphy’s record.
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