Series: Game 3 of 4

Cleveland leads 2-1 (as of 9/17)

Game 1: Monday, September 15
Game 2: Tuesday, September 16
Game 3: Wednesday, September 17
Game 4: Thursday, September 18
in 13

Indians 2

(79-73, 34-43 away)

Astros 0

(67-85, 36-41 home)

    8:10 PM ET, September 17, 2014

    Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas 

    123456789 R H E
    CLE 000101000 2 7 1
    HOU 000000000 0 2 1

    W: C. Carrasco (8-5)

    L: B. Oberholtzer (5-12)

    Indians-Astros Preview


    The Cleveland Indians may be facing a daunting task to make their second straight appearance in the wild-card round, but as long as the math works out they're not going to give up the fight.

    Carlos Carrasco looks to bounce back from his first loss since joining the rotation as he faces the Houston Astros on the road Wednesday night.

    Cleveland (77-73) trails Kansas City by five games for the second wild card with 11 to play, gaining one Tuesday by ending a four-game skid with a 4-2 win over Houston and the Royals' 7-5 loss to the Chicago White Sox.

    The Indians had lost six of eight to further diminish their playoff chances, and a stunning comeback would be necessary to get them into the postseason.

    "Tonight was nice, but it won't do us any good tomorrow," said Corey Kluber, Tuesday's winning pitcher. "Until we're mathematically eliminated, we have a chance."

    Cleveland still has a suspended game from Aug. 31 against the Royals to be completed, holding a two-run lead in the 10th inning of that contest which will be finished when Kansas City visits Progressive Field for a three-game set beginning Monday.

    "We're trying to finish the year strong these last two weeks," manager Terry Francona said. "We're showing up every day to win and meet our goals, period."

    Carrasco (7-5, 2.86 ERA) may need another solid outing to give the Indians a chance to gain some ground. He went 4-0 with a 0.70 ERA in his first six starts after entering the rotation Aug. 10, but he gave up four runs in 6 1/3 innings of Friday's 7-2 loss at Detroit. He had allowed three runs prior to that outing.

    The right-hander made his only career start against the Astros on Aug. 22, giving up one run and two hits in six innings before the bullpen allowed four runs in the ninth of a 5-1 loss.

    Houston (67-84) won the opener of this series 3-1 on Monday as Jose Altuve went 3 for 4 with two RBIs. He then broke Craig Biggio's franchise record for hits in a season with his 211th on Tuesday, doubling in the fifth to tie the mark before singling in the seventh.

    "When I was a kid growing up watching Craig Biggio and hundreds of players more, you know Biggio is second base," Altuve said. "He got the record. He got 3,000 hits. He's going to be in the Hall of Fame sooner than later. For me to break the record is very important. I would like to have a career of at least 80 percent of the success that Biggio did."

    Altuve, who leads the majors with a .343 batting average, is 13 for 26 during a six-game hitting streak.

    The Astros will look to win for the third time in four games as they send Brett Oberholtzer to the mound.

    Oberholtzer (5-11, 4.51) is 1/3 with a 7.00 ERA over his last five starts and his pitched fewer than five full innings in two of his last three, including allowing six runs -- four earned -- in 4 1/3 innings of Friday's 11-3 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.

    "I thought it was going to be a special night for me," Oberholtzer said. "I was throwing the ball well, and I thought I had my better stuff early on. I felt I made some good pitches all night. You've got to keep battling and maintain focus throughout the game."

    The left-hander is 0-2 with a 3.07 ERA in one relief appearance and two starts against the Indians, including allowing three runs and 10 hits in 6 2/3 innings of a 3-1 loss Aug. 24.

    Houston confirmed Tuesday that rookie George Springer, who has been out since July 20, will miss the rest of the season with a left quad injury.

    Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


    Gameday Matchup

    Current StreakW1L2
    Last 106-43-7

    Pitching Matchup

    C. Carrasco
    8-7, 2.55 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/27 vs TB
    7.2 IP, 1 ER
    Dec = Loss
    B. Oberholtzer
    5-13, 4.39 ERA

    Last Game:
    9/23 at TEX
    4.1 IP, 2 ER
    Dec = Loss

    Gameday Lineups

    1. M. Bourn, CF A. Presley, LF
    2. J. Ramirez, SS J. Altuve, 2B
    3. M. Brantley, LF D. Fowler, CF
    4. C. Santana, DH C. Carter, DH
    5. Y. Gomes, C J. Castro, C
    6. M. Aviles, 2B J. Marisnick, RF
    7. L. Chisenhall, 3B M. Dominguez, 3B
    8. C. Gimenez, 1B J. Singleton, 1B
    9. T. Holt, RF J. Villar, SS

    Research Notes

    From Elias: FROM ELIAS The Indians have gotten 14 strikeouts from Corey Kluber and 12 strikeouts from Carlos Carrasco in the last 2 games. It marked only the 2nd time in Indians history that they got at least 12 strikeouts from their starting pitchers in consecutive games. The other was September 18 and 20, 1966. Sam McDowell struck out 14 Tigers and Luis Tiant struck out 12 Twins. Coincidentally, Tiant got the win in both games (he pitched in relief of McDowell on the 18th)
    Carlos Carrasco threw his 1st career shutout, allowing just 2 hits with 12 strikeouts. He's the 3rd Indians pitcher in the past 100 seasons to throw a shutout on the road, allowing 2 hits or fewer with at least 12 strikeouts.

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