Astros lose to Indians in shortened game

Astros lose to Indians in shortened game
September 20, 2013, 10:00 pm
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Bo Porter after Friday's loss to Indians

Sep 20, 2013; Cleveland, OH, USA; A security guard stands alone in the rain during a delay in the game during the seventh inning between the Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros at Progressive Field. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

(Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

There have been a lot of tough losses for the Astros this season. Friday’s 2-1 loss to Cleveland was extremely difficult as the game was called after 6 ½ innings due to rain.

The Astros’ season-high seventh straight loss was made more difficult in that both Cleveland runs were unearned, and made a loser of Brett Oberholtzer, who allowed only four hits in six innings. Brandon Laird’s second-inning home run was Houston’s only run and gave the Astros a short-lived 1-0 lead. There were only eight hits in the game, four by each team.

“We knew before the game that weather was possibly going to be a factor,” said Astros manager Bo Porter.

TURNING POINT

Errors on the same play by first baseman Chris Carter and left fielder Marc Krauss led to an unearned run in the fourth inning that broke a 1-1 tie and proved to be difference in the game.

STARTING PITCHING

Costly errors didn’t help tough-luck loser Oberholtzer (4-4), especially in the fourth inning when a run scored on a play that featured two errors. In six innings, Oberholtzer allowed two runs, both unearned, with two strikeouts and three walks. Oberholtzer is credited with a complete game,

“Oberholtzer was outstanding,” said Porter. “If we made a couple defensive plays we arguably could be standing with a win.”

Cleveland starter Zach McAllister (9-9) was more than effective, allowing only Laird’s home run in five innings. McAllister allowed only four hits with three strikeouts and two walks.

IN THE BULLPEN

Marc Rzepczynski relieved McAllister with no outs in the sixth with Jose Altuve on first. The left-hander faced one batter and got two outs. With Krauss at the plate, Altuve was thrown out trying to steal second. Rzepczynski struck out the left-handed hitting Krauss swinging for the second out was replaced by Bryan Shaw, who struck out Carter for the third out. Shaw got his first save of the season.

AT THE PLATE

Laird’s fourth home run of the season, a solo shot to left field with two outs in the second inning opened the scoring. Carter had a two-out triple in the fourth but was stranded at third base. The Astros loaded the bases in the fifth but failed to score.

“We cannot get the big hits,” said Porter. “It seems like it is avoiding us. Eventually we’ll snap out of it.”

IN THE FIELD

Through four innings, the Astros had three errors – two on one play that led to Cleveland taking a 2-1 lead. An error by first baseman Carter led to the run. With runners at first and second with one out, Carter fielded the ball at first base and tried to get the lead runner at second base. But the throw was off target and Ryan Raburn advanced from second to score, and Asdrubal Cabrera went from first to third on left fielder Krauss’ errant throw to first. Laird’s second-inning fielding error at third base led to Cleveland tying the game 1-1.

“Errors are part of the game, but at the same time you expect those plays to be made in a major league game,” said Porter.

Indians center fielder Michael Bourn made a diving catch on the first batter of the game in Jonathan Villar.

UP NEXT

Game three of the four-game road series is Saturday with Houston RHP Paul Clemens (5-4, 5.54 ERA) against LHP Scott Kazmir (8-8, 4.24 ERA). In Sunday’s series finale LHP Erik Bedard (4-11, 4.60 ERA) of Houston opposes RHP Corey Kluber (9-5, 3.55 ERA).