HOUSTON - Marwin Gonzalez produced a four-hit effort, Alex Bregman homered for a second consecutive game and Gerrit Cole pitched a masterful start as the Houston Astros beat the visiting Cleveland Indians 3-1 on Saturday, Oct. 6, in Game 2 of this American League Division Series.
Roberto Osuna posted a four-out save for the Astros, who will take a 2-0 series lead to Cleveland for Game 3 on Monday.
Gonzalez finished 4-for-4, with his two-run, opposite-field double off Indians left-hander Andrew Miller lifting the Astros to a 2-1 lead with one out in the sixth inning. The switch-hitting Gonzalez had recorded a pair of singles off Indians right-hander Carlos Carrasco (0-1) and delivered again when Miller entered and forced Gonzalez to bat from the right side of the plate.
Jose Altuve, who reached on an infield single, and Bregman scored on the play to erase a one-run deficit. Bregman (1-for-3 with a walk) homered an inning later off Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer, drilling a 1-1 slider 396 feet to left-center field for a critical insurance run.
Cole (1-0) was exceptional. He allowed three hits and recorded 12 strikeouts over seven dominant innings. His lone blemish came with two outs and a two-strike count against Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor in the third, with Lindor blasting a slider into the right field seats.
Cole recovered by striking out the side in the fourth and fanning two batters apiece in the fifth and sixth.
After the lengthy Houston rally in the bottom of the sixth, Cole returned to retire the side in order in the seventh inning, becoming just the second pitcher in postseason history to record at least 12 strikeouts without issuing a walk. New York Mets right-hander Tom Seaver did so against Cincinnati on Oct. 6, 1973, in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series.
Carrasco proved effective at inducing ground balls and keeping his teammates busy in support. He finished the season fourth in the American League in strikeouts with a career-high 231 yet produced only three while pitching 5 1/3 innings. He did record 10 ground-ball outs, including a crucial double play off the bat of Altuve to stifle an Astros threat in the third inning.