Astros find 13th inning unlucky in loss to Tribe
HOUSTON -- For much of Thursday's game, it appeared that interim manager Tom Lawless wasn't even going to have to touch the bullpen phone, as starter Scott Feldman roared through the Indians' lineup for eight scoreless innings.
Lawless, working with extra arms in the bullpen with an expanded September roster, wound up having to use five relievers before the Indians pushed across a run in the 13th inning to beat the Astros, 2-1, and split the four-game series at Minute Maid Park.
"That's what happens when the pitching is pretty good," Lawless said. "I kept trying to match up, and you want to make sure you're not short. [Indians manager Terry Francona] was thin, and we were getting thin, too."
Samuel Deduno, the Astros' sixth pitcher, was charged with the loss after giving up a bases-loaded sacrifice fly to Mike Aviles that scored Jose Ramirez, who sparked the Indians with a one-out double in the 13th.
"It stings for our pitchers to go out and throw that good and not be able to get them some run support and get out of there with a win," said right fielder Jake Marisnick, who went 2-for-4 with the team's only RBI.
It appeared as though Marisnick would have a play at the plate when he caught Aviles' fly ball in shallow right field, but his throw went well wide, allowing Ramirez to score rather easily.
"I think I had some time, and I just rushed it," Marisnick said. "It was pretty shallow, and I had a chance to make a good throw and get him, and I had to be around the plate with it. I ended up rushing it, didn't get into a good position to throw, flew open, and the ball sailed on me."
The Astros' struggling offense managed eight hits -- all singles -- while striking out 14 times. Jose Altuve went 0-for-6 for the first time in his career, and Jon Singleton (0-for-4, four strikeouts) and Matt Dominguez (0-for-5) remained in their slumps.
Indians pitchers amassed 50 strikeouts and allowed 28 hits and seven walks in 39 innings during the four-game series.
"It seems like every ball we hit was right at somebody, and you go through streaks like that," Lawless said. "Our swings have gotten a lot better and we're competing very well, but we need some of these balls to drop in, especially for confidence."
Feldman carried a shutout in the ninth and wound up allowing one run and four hits, setting a career high with his 19th quality start of the season. He's 2-2 with a 2.00 ERA in his last five starts.
Astros starters have a 2.05 ERA in their past 17 games.
"The starting pitching has been outstanding, there's no doubt about it," Lawless said. "[Feldman] went out there and shut them down for eight innings. I asked him going into the ninth, 'You're the guy. How are you doing?' I told him, 'If somebody gets on base, I'm coming to get you, but you go out and finish the game.' He just got a ball up."
Michael Bourn began the ninth with a double to left-center that was originally ruled an inside-the-park homer. The ball one-hopped the wall and disappeared for a moment behind some padding before emerging at the feet of center fielder Dexter Fowler, who had his hands in the air to signal he had lost the ball.
Bourn, who never stopped running, was sent back to second base after an umpires' review, but the Indians eventually tied the score on a Carlos Santana single off closer Chad Qualls.
"[Feldman] was good tonight," Bourn said. "He was hitting his spots and stuff, and I was trying to get a pitch up and get a good pitch to hit. He gave me one there, and I was able to get it up the middle."