Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 9/20/13
For the second consecutive night the Indians were thankful they played the Houston Astros. The Tribe taking advantage of a leaky Houston defense scored two unearned runs and prevailed 2-1 in seven innings at soggy Progressive Field. The game was delayed by rain for 1 hour 9 minutes at the outset of the bottom of the seventh before being called. It is the 10th weather-shortened game in ballpark history. The Indians (84-70) have won seven of nine. They moved into one of the two wild-card spots when Texas lost in Kansas City. "This is an exciting time'' said Tribe right-hander Zach McAllister who allowed one run in five innings to earn the victory. "To be where we are is awesome.'' The Astros (51-103) have lost seven in a row. Teams don’t lose 103 times in a season by accident. Houston has a serious talent problem that is exacerbated by poor execution. Thursday Houston’s lack of fundamentals on the bases and situational hitting helped the Indians escape 2-1 in 11 innings. It ruined a quality start by Dallas Keuchel. Friday Houston’s fielding ruined a quality start by Brett Oberholtzer. Keuchel and Oberholtzer are left-handers who don’t throw hard a combination that has bothered Cleveland for years. They gave up one earned run in 13 innings. But the Indians went 2-0 and that is all that matters for a club scratching to join the postseason party. The Indians improved to 28-17 in one-run games; the Astros slipped to 18-32. "Houston's come in and played great'' McAllister said. "They're playing with a chip on their shoulder. They have a chance to knock contenders out. When you're not in it that's what you want to do as a team. We've been lucky enough to get the two wins.'' The four-game series resumes Saturday night when Tribe lefty Scott Kazmir faces Astros righty Paul Clemens. "As best we can we've got to keep our heads out of those papers and really keep to the grindstone'' first baseman Nick Swisher said "because we've got ourselves in a great spot. Just to be able to be here a complete turnaround from last year is exciting.'' The Indians went 68-94 last season. "These last eight games are going to be great'' Swisher said. "We had a good crowd (Friday) and hopefully they'll pack 'em in there Saturday.'' Houston took a 1-0 lead in the second when Brandon Laird homered with two outs. Laird reached down for a Zach McAllister slurve and hooked it deep to left for his fourth.
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