CLEVELAND -- With spot starter Brad Peacock not equipped to pitch deep into Tuesday's game because of his recent workload, Astros relievers were poised and ready for a busy night at Progressive Field.Five relievers held the Indians to two runs and two hits over 5 1/3 innings, with Ken Giles
CLEVELAND -- With spot starter Brad Peacock not equipped to pitch deep into Tuesday's game because of his recent workload, Astros relievers were poised and ready for a busy night at Progressive Field.
Five relievers held the Indians to two runs and two hits over 5 1/3 innings, with Ken Giles stranding the potential tying run at second base in the ninth inning for a save, to allow the Astros to win their third in a row, 4-3, over the Indians.
"Our 'pen did a great job," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You're asking six or seven guys to have good nights and against a lineup that's very balanced. They have their switch-hitters, they have their left-handed guys, they've got power, they've got a ton of speed. We saw a little bit of all of their strengths tonight. We needed guys to step up and get outs when we needed it."
Carlos Santana hit a leadoff homer off Luke Gregerson in the eighth to cut the lead to 4-2, and Giles allowed the leadoff hitter to reach in the ninth. That set the stage for a tenuous finish in which a run scored on an error before Coco Crisp was stranded at second to end the game when pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer hit a check-swing grounder to Giles.
That denied the Indians a chance for another walk-off win.
"It's huge," Giles said. "I had to buckle down and go through a good offense and a good lineup. I mean, they've done it tons of times, and I just had to make my pitches and make them put it in play. I couldn't really get it by them because I couldn't really trick them, because I wasn't hitting my spots the way I usually do, so I had to find a new way to do it."
James Hoyt struck out Roberto Pérez for the final out in the fourth, with a runner on second, and then pitched a 1-2-3 fifth inning and wound up getting his first big league win at 29 years old. Chris Devenski and Will Harris followed with 1-2-3 innings, as the 'pen retired 10 straight from Peacock's exit through the seventh.
"It's a great feeling to get your first win, but at the same time, I'm just trying to go out there and do my job every time and give the offense and defense a chance to win this game for us," Hoyt said.
Harris said the versatility of the bullpen matches up well against anybody.
"We've got a talented group down there," he said. "We've got a lot of guys that we can match up, we feel like, with anybody. We've got righties that get lefties out, which is a nice luxury to have. We have lefties that get righties out. I think it gives A.J. some flexibility in a game like today, when Peacock's pitch count is going to be a little lower than a normal start.
"Yeah, if we're going to have a game like that today, I think our bullpen is up to the task."
Hinch sweated out the ninth when Crisp stole second base with one out, but Giles came up with two big outs to end it.
"The leadoff batter getting on base is always tough," Hinch said. "We've had a hard time keeping the leadoff runner off this road trip, but we finished the play."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.