Houston makes it back-to-back wins
Houston's offense stays strong in another win over Cleveland
With the rough losing streak behind them after a victory in the opener, Houston tried to start a new winning streak and move closer to securing this series with another one on Friday in Cleveland. With more strong offense early in this matchup, they backed up Lance McCullers Jr. en route to the win.
Final Score: Astros 6, Indians 3
Astros' Record: 50-33, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1)
Losing Pitcher: Sam Hentges (1-3)
Houston gives McCullers Jr. a lead
Unlike the night prior, where they had to erase a Cleveland lead, the Astros grabbed and built upon an early advantage Friday night. They started the scoring in the bottom of the second, getting back-to-back RBI doubles by Chas McCormick and Taylor Jones to jump in front 2-0. That grew to a six-run lead in the next inning, with another RBI by McCormick and one each by Carlos Correa, Abraham Toro, and Jason Castro.
#Astros score four on four hits in the 3rd inning! 🤘#ForTheH pic.twitter.com/bGBMQzBOtl
— Houston Astros (@astros) July 3, 2021
Lance McCullers Jr. maintained that lead, despite dealing with some traffic, through the first five innings. He returned in the bottom of the sixth, but after a one-out walk and single would hand the ball to Dusty Baker as Brooks Raley would try to strand the runners. Raley did not accomplish that mission and instead gave up a three-run homer to the first batter he faced to cut Houston's lead in half before finishing the frame. That finalized McCullers Jr.'s line: 5.1 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 107 P.
Astros get back-to-back wins in Cleveland
Ryne Stanek dealt with his own runners in the bottom of the seventh, erasing a leadoff single and two-out walk for a scoreless frame. Blake Taylor was Houston's next reliever, and he too escaped a jam, loading the bases but getting a strikeout to get out unscathed. That set up another save opportunity for Ryan Pressly, and he converted it in the bottom of the ninth to give Houston back-to-back wins with a chance to secure the series on Saturday.
Up Next: Game three of four of this series will have a first pitch time of 6:15 PM Central on Saturday. Jake Odorizzi (2-3, 4.08 ERA) will be on the mound to try and even his record and continue lowering his ERA with another scoreless outing, while the Indians will hand the ball to Eli Morgan (1-2, 9.37 ERA).
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