CLEVELAND -- Considering how difficult it is to score runs off Indians closer Cody Allen, the Astros tried to force the issue and move a runner into scoring position, down by a run in the ninth inning Thursday after Jose Altuve led off with a pinch-hit single.Altuve was thrown out
CLEVELAND -- Considering how difficult it is to score runs off Indians closer Cody Allen, the Astros tried to force the issue and move a runner into scoring position, down by a run in the ninth inning Thursday after Jose Altuve led off with a pinch-hit single.
Altuve was thrown out trying to steal second on the third pitch of the next at-bat, an out magnified when Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran followed with singles. Allen came back to retire Carlos Correa and Brian McCann to end the game, leaving Reddick stranded at third with the tying run in the Astros' 4-3 loss at Progressive Field. Altuve was 7-for-7 on stolen-base attempts prior to Yan Gomes throwing him out in the ninth.
"I mean, I think it was very important because obviously Allen is a pretty good closer," Altuve said. "Every 90 feet you can get on him is going to be good. But then, after I get thrown out at second, Reddick hit a single and Carlos hit a [single]. It seems like it was a bad play, but we're just trying. We're here to try to help the team to win and we didn't win it today, but tomorrow is another day."
It didn't help Altuve that the pitch from Allen sailed high, allowing Gomes to get to his feet quickly and put himself in position to make a good throw to shortstop Francisco Lindor.
"We want to be aggressive against him and he's not a guy that gives up a lot of hits," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "He has a bunch of punchouts on his resume as well. You try to take an extra 90 feet. They made a great throw. He got a high breaking ball, almost like a modified pitchout. So, a little bit of a perfect storm to throw Jose out. I thought we battled again. This is a characteristic that our team shows every night."
Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.