HOUSTON -- Between what are two seemingly sure-fire American League postseason contenders, the Indians stole a second series win against the Astros with a 3-0 victory Saturday at Minute Maid Park.Behind seven-plus shutout innings from starter Mike Clevinger, Cleveland (22-19) earned its fourth straight win against Houston (29-14); Clevinger didn't
HOUSTON -- Between what are two seemingly sure-fire American League postseason contenders, the Indians stole a second series win against the Astros with a 3-0 victory Saturday at Minute Maid Park.
Behind seven-plus shutout innings from starter Mike Clevinger, Cleveland (22-19) earned its fourth straight win against Houston (29-14); Clevinger didn't allow a hit until Jose Altuve's leadoff single in the bottom of the seventh. Cleveland has handed the Astros two of their three series losses this season.
"He was terrific," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "They present so many challenges as a lineup, and he continued to make pitches."
Clevinger struck out a career-high eight batters and also bested his previous career high of innings pitched (5 2/3 innings twice). He set down the first 10 batters he faced, including five by strikeout.
"He obviously did a good job with a lot of things," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "We had a lot of swings and misses today. We had a lot of balls on the ground. We didn't really hit a ton of balls hard most of the game. ... He had a little bit of everything, and we couldn't solve him."
• Justice: Clevinger gives Tribe glimpse of potential
Indians right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall backed Clevinger's two-hit day with a solo home run -- his sixth this season and fourth in six games -- measuring 446 feet to right-center field, according to Statcast™, while Jason Kipnis added an RBI single and Carlos Santana had a late RBI double. The Astros, meanwhile, finished with three hits.
Astros starter Mike Fiers allowed two runs (one earned) on six hits and a walk over six innings, with three K's.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Reddick from right:Josh Reddick tacked on his second outfield assist in the second inning, preventing the Indians from adding a second run in the inning by throwing out Yan Gomes at the plate on Kipnis' inning-ending single. It was the Astros' ninth outfield assist this season.
Lonnie's long ball: For the second consecutive game against the Astros, Chisenhall lifted a home run over the right-field wall, taking Fiers deep in the fourth inning for a 2-0 lead on a blast that was projected to travel 446 feet, according to Statcast™. Four of Chisenhall's six homers this season have been solo shots, and he is hitting .368 with four long balls and eight RBIs in his last six games.
"He was dotting the ball down and away. His fastball was consistent. He was using that slider behind in the count very well. He did a great job. Sometimes you have to give credit to a pitcher, and today was one of those days."
-- Astros shortstop Carlos Correa, on Clevinger
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• Clevinger was attempting to become the first Indians pitcher to throw a no-hitter since Len Barker's perfect game in 1981, a 3-0 win over Toronto. Clevinger was also trying for the Indians' first road no-hitter since 1948, when Bob Lemon threw one in Detroit, beating the Tigers 2-0.
• The Indians have won nine of 11 games against the AL West this season. They are 13-17 against the rest of the Majors.
In the bottom of the sixth, Reddick was initially called safe stealing second before Cleveland's challenge overturned the tag play and ended the inning.
Indians:Danny Salazar is set for his ninth start of the season and sixth on the road as the Tribe plays the series finale in Houston on Sunday at 2:10 p.m. ET. Salazar has had success against the Astros, giving up only three earned runs over 18 1/3 innings in his career. However, the right-hander gave up four homers to the Rays in his last start.
Astros:Joe Musgrove will be making his 19th career start, and Sunday will be the right-hander's fifth career day-game start when the Astros host the Indians at 1:10 p.m. CT at Minute Maid Park. In the previous four day games, he's 2-1 with a 3.00 ERA.
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Christian Boutwell is a reporter for MLB.com based in Houston.
Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com and covered the Indians on Saturday.