The Cleveland Indians and Houston Astros squared off for the second time in a week this past weekend. It is a preview of a matchup we could see in October.  While the Astros took the first two games of the series, the Indians scored 18 runs in the second two games and earned the split.

Mike Clevinger struggles on Thursday.

The pitching matchup on Thursday was Mike Clevinger versus Charlie Morton. Cleveland got out to a 2-0 lead thanks to a Michael Brantley single in the bottom of the third. Clevinger put up zeros on the scoreboard through four, but gave up a crooked number in the fifth and was unable to make it out of the sixth. Clevinger ended up going 5.1 innings and gave up five earned runs.

The Indians bullpen didn’t help matters as Tyler Olsen and Neil Ramirez were unable to get out of the sixth and gave up three runs. Charlie Morton went six innings and gave up two runs for the Astros. Héctor Rondón and Collin McHugh came out of the pen and took care of business for Houston as they won the game 8-2.

Cleveland bullpen implodes, spoils spectacular start by Corey Kluber on Friday.

Friday night’s game was a battle between two Cy Young Award winners in Corey Kluber and Dallas Keuchel. Just like Thursday, through most of the game, the Indians were in control. Kluber went 6.1 innings, gave up no runs, and struck out seven. Keuchel went six innings and gave up two runs. After Kluber exited the collapse began. The Indians pen was smacked around for eleven runs by the Astro’s offense and lost the game 11-2.

Indians get to Lance McCullers early and often on Saturday.

For the second time in a week, Carlos Carrasco and Lance McCullers. faced off on national television. On May 20th, McCullers took a no-hitter into the sixth inning against the Tribe. This past Saturday was a little different, however.

McCullers gave up seven runs in just 4.1 innings of work, but their bullpen kept them in the game as they only gave up a run. Carrasco was inconsistent on Saturday and gave up five runs in 5.2 innings. The Indians offense showed up big and scored eight runs. Edwin Encarnacion and Jason Kipnis led the way for the Tribe. Jason Kipnis hit just his second home run of the year in the bottom of the fourth and finished the night 2-4. In his last seven games, Kipnis is hitting .286 with a home run and six RBI. This is good news for Indian’s fans because he has gotten off to a slow start in the first two months of the season.

Encarnacion went 3-3 and hit a big home run in the bottom of the fifth which gave the Indians a four-run advantage. It was his eleventh homer of the year. The Indians bullpen had a rare good game and gave up just a single run in 3.1 innings. The Tribe took game three 8-6.

Greg Allen walks it off in the 14th on Sunday.

Sunday afternoon’s ballgame was a thriller for Cleveland fans. Trevor Bauer and Gerrit Cole took the ball for their respective teams. Bauer threw a career-high 127 pitches, gave up four runs, and went 7.1 innings for the Indians. Gerrit Cole went seven innings and gave up three runs. The bullpen, once again, failed to do its job as Evan Marshall came in and struggled. Marshall was unable to record an out and gave up three earned runs. Recent call-up, Ben Taylor came in and struggled as well. After today’s extra-inning affair, the Indians will be looking to bring up some energized arms and it looks like Marshall and Taylor booked a one-way ticket to Triple-A Columbus.

The Tribe were down 8-3 going into the bottom of the ninth but rallied together five runs to force extra innings. Yonder Alonso, Jason Kipnis, Erik Gonzalez, Francisco Lindor, and Michael Brantley all had RBI singles to bring the Tribe back. Dan Otero gave up a home run to Evan Gattis in the top of the thirteenth, but the Indians followed that up in the bottom half of the inning with a Yonder Alonso home run. The Tribe would then go on to win in the bottom of the fourteenth with the first career walk-off home run for Greg Allen 10-9.

The Indians welcome the Chicago White Sox to town for a three-game series at Progressive Field beginning on Memorial Day.

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