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Astros down Tribe on 3-RBI night from Altuve

Speical to MLB.com

HOUSTON -- The Astros chased Corey Kluber during a five-run third inning to beat the Indians, 7-1, on Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. Jose Altuve's two-run double and Colby Rasmus' two-run single highlighted Houston's third inning.

"On a night where they had only eight hits, they had five and a walk in that span," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That ended up being too much for us."

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HOUSTON -- The Astros chased Corey Kluber during a five-run third inning to beat the Indians, 7-1, on Monday in the first game of a three-game series at Minute Maid Park. Jose Altuve's two-run double and Colby Rasmus' two-run single highlighted Houston's third inning.

"On a night where they had only eight hits, they had five and a walk in that span," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "That ended up being too much for us."

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Cast your Esurance All-Star ballot for Altuve and other #ASGWorthy players

Houston starter Mike Fiers allowed only one run and three hits over seven innings. The Astros have gone 4-1 in Fiers' last five starts and the team has won five of its last seven games.

"It's good to get on a roll," Fiers said. "Just build off of each start and just win games, really, as a team. I was able to keep them to one run. The bullpen came in, we made some great defensive plays to keep me in that game longer. I feel good. It feels better to get into midseason form and kind of put April behind us."

Video: CLE@HOU: Fiers throws seven strong vs. Indians

The Indians scored their run in the sixth when Rajai Davis, who led off the inning with a double, scored on a Jason Kipnis groundout. Jose Ramirez added a double -- losing his helmet in the process -- for the Indians, who had won five of their previous six games but managed only three hits on Monday.

Video: CLE@HOU: Ramirez's helmet slides safely with him

Altuve collected three RBIs, and Luis Valbuena had two hits and scored twice for the Astros. Kluber's 2 2/3-inning outing was his shortest since 2014.

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Getting offensive: The Astros couldn't manage a hit off Kluber in the first two innings, but the bats came alive in a five-run third inning with Houston's first six batters reaching base -- five hits and a walk. The big blows were Altuve's two-run double, scoring Valbuena and Jason Castro, and Rasmus' bases-loaded single, scoring Altuve and George Springer. Carlos Correa scored on Marwin Gonzalez's groundout, giving the Astros a 5-0 lead. Kluber, who struck out the side in the first inning on 12 pitches, exited the game after walking Carlos Gomez with two outs in the third. More >

"We put up seven really tough at-bats against him in the third inning and ended up with five runs, and not all of them were perfect at-bats. But they were all competitive at-bats and none of them left the yard. It showed we can put up at-bat after at-bat after at-bat with a purpose and not sit back and rely on the three-run homer," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.

Video: CLE@HOU: Astros collect five runs in the 3rd inning

Kluber KO'd: Asked about his ace prior to Monday's game, Francona was understandably optimistic and even compared Kluber's recent outings to his 2014 Cy Young form. That came to a screeching halt on Monday. The Astros rocked him in the third, preventing him from reaching the fourth inning for just the third time in his career as a starter and first since Sept. 1, 2014 vs. Detroit. The Indians are just 2-5 in Kluber's starts this season. More >

"It's frustrating if it happened in the third, first, sixth inning, whatever," Kluber said. "I didn't want to put the team in that big of a hole. I didn't do my job."

Video: CLE@HOU: Kluber gets Correa swinging to end inning

Altuve, Correa stand out on defense: Altuve and Correa are known mainly for their hitting, but both came up with spectacular defensive plays in the early innings. From his second-base position, Altuve barehanded a grounder going to his right to throw out Michael Brantley at first base leading off the second inning. Correa's gem at shortstop was also impressive. With a shift on for the left-handed-hitting Lonnie Chisenhall, Correa extended himself in making a leaping catch to rob Chisenhall of a sure hit leading off the third. More >

"I didn't trust Carlos to make the play so I went in front of him and barehanded the play," Altuve said jokingly. "Honestly, I didn't realize Carlos was behind me and made the play."

Video: CLE@HOU: Altuve makes a great barehanded play

Video: CLE@HOU: Correa robs Chisenhall with leaping grab

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
The Astros won their second consecutive game without hitting a home run. It's the first time Houston has won two games in a row without going deep since Sept. 9-10, 2014, at Seattle.

WHAT'S NEXT
Indians: Trevor Bauer gets the ball for Cleveland at 8:10 p.m. ET on Tuesday, and it will be his first start in Houston since the 2015 season-opening series. Bauer had 11 strikeouts and a no-hitter going through six innings in that start but was lifted due to a high pitch count stemming from five walks. Bauer is making just his third start of 2016. He is 2-0, but sports a 5.14 ERA in eight appearances.

Astros: Chris Devenski is set to make his third Major League start as the series continues on Tuesday at 7:10 p.m. CT. Devenski took a no-decision in his last start, throwing six innings of one-run ball in Houston's 6-3 loss to the Mariners on Thursday. After being called up on April 7, the 25-year-old right-hander made six relief appearances for the Astros before replacing Scott Feldman in the rotation.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Chris Abshire is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Indians on Monday.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Monday.