CLEVELAND -- Perhaps the only thing more unusual than Indians ace Corey Kluber walking a pair of guys with two outs in the second inning Tuesday was the 0-2 pitch he served up moments later to Marwin Gonzalez, whose three-run homer helped the Astros to a 4-3 win at Progressive
CLEVELAND -- Perhaps the only thing more unusual than Indians ace Corey Kluber walking a pair of guys with two outs in the second inning Tuesday was the 0-2 pitch he served up moments later to Marwin Gonzalez, whose three-run homer helped the Astros to a 4-3 win at Progressive Field.
Gonzalez's homer -- his 12th of the season, and first of his career with more than one man on base -- broke a streak in which Kluber hadn't allowed a homer on an 0-2 pitch for 193 consecutive batters, which was the longest such streak in the big leagues.
"I wasn't expecting something like that," said Gonzalez, who added two doubles to finish off a 3-for-4 night. "Obviously, he's one of the best pitchers in the game and he doesn't give it up like that, those two pitches on two strikes. I was lucky to get that pitch and got a good swing on it."
Kluber retired the first five batters he faced before Evan Gattis and Colby Rasmus drew back-to-back walks to set the stage for Gonzalez's 423-foot home run.
"I mean, you have to take advantage of any and all opportunities that you can against him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said of Kluber. "We've been pretty good about that against him in particular, and he did open the door for us with a couple of walks and then the 0-2 pitch to Marwin.
"Marwin had a really good night, and it started with the walks and trying to piece together quality at-bats against him. You want to swing early because you don't want to fall behind and get to his two-strike put-away pitches, but if he was going to nibble and not put you away, it was nice to show some discipline."
The Astros have scored four or more runs in six consecutive games, which is their longest streak of the season. They are 4-2 in their last six games but have won 13 of 17 overall.
"We have been playing good baseball lately, and to beat a pitcher like that is great," Gonzalez said. "It gives us a little confidence for the next game, and we have to keep going."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.