- Associated Press - Sunday, May 21, 2017

HOUSTON (AP) - In an up-and-down season, the American League champion Cleveland Indians left Houston feeling pretty good after sweeping the Astros.

Yan Gomes homered and tied a career high with five RBIs to lead the Indians over the Astros 8-6 on Sunday.

“This is the best team in the AL right now, and there’s a reason for it, and when we come in and play good ballgames I think we’re going to beat a lot of people,” Gomes said. “So it was good to see us do that.”

Gomes’ third-inning homer off Joe Musgrove (3-4) gave the Indians a 3-1 lead, and Cleveland added three more runs in the fourth. The Indians took all three games and are 5-1 against Houston this season, dealing the Astros two of their three series losses.

“The Indians outplayed us in just about every area,” manager A.J. Hinch said. “They did a really good job this series, and that’s why they came away with the wins.”

Danny Salazar (3-4) yielded three runs and four hits in 5 2/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

Manager Terry Francona is still looking for more from Salazar.

“We set up a high bar for Danny because of his stuff,” he said. “I just know that there’s more in there and we want him to reach that level so bad. I’m thrilled we won. I just think he can set himself up the way he’s pitched to have more success.”

Marwin Gonzalez hit a two run homer off Zach McAllister on the 13th pitch of an at-bat with two outs and the ninth, and Alex Bregman homered on the next pitch. McAllister then struck out Nori Aoki.

Musgrove allowed a season-high seven runs and matched a high with eight hits. He lasted three-plus innings in his shortest start this season, and his ERA rose from 4.57 to 5.63.

Jose Altuve hit a two-run homer and Carlos Beltran had a solo shot for the Astros, whose tied their season high with their third straight loss.

Gomes’ RBI double and Jason Kipnis’ run-scoring single built a 2-0 lead in the second. Beltran hit his fourth home in the bottom half, but Musgrove walked consecutive batters with two outs in the third, then allowed Gomes’ third homer.

Consecutive singles by Kipnis and Francisco Lindor chased Musgrove in the fourth, and Edwin Encarnacion hit a run-scoring single off Ashur Tolliver, who plunked Gomes with two outs and the bases loaded. Bradley Zimmer added an RBI single that opened an 8-1 lead.


Indians: OF Austin Jackson (toe) went 2 for 3 in his second rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Columbus on Sunday. He is to play there again on Tuesday before he is re-evaluated. … RHP Corey Kluber threw 50 pitches in a simulated game on Saturday. He is slated to throw a bullpen session on Monday and then the Indians will decide whether he can make a rehabilitation start on Thursday.

Astros: C Brian McCann was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list. The move was retroactive to Saturday and came a day after Houston placed ace Dallas Keuchel on the 10-day disabled list because of a pinched nerve in his neck.


Tolliver, who was recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Saturday when Keuchel went on the DL, made his debut with the Astros on Sunday. He allowed two hits and one run with five strikeouts in four innings before being optioned back to Fresno after the game.

“I’m glad I could eat some innings, and some of our key back inning guys didn’t have to go in there,” he said.


Musgrove on his struggles this season: “It’s tough right now … I put together good ones here and there, but I haven’t been myself and I haven’t felt normal the whole year.”


Indians: Josh Tomlin (2-5, 6.86 ERA) is to start the opener of a two-game series at Cincinnati on Monday. Tomlin will look to bounce back after allowing seven hits and six runs in 2 1/3 innings of a 7-4 loss against Tampa Bay in his last start.

Astros: Brad Peacock (2-0, 1.10) will move out of the bullpen to make his first start this season in place of Keuchel when Houston opens a four-game series against Detroit on Monday. Peacock, who has appeared in 12 games this season, last started on Sept. 30 against the Angels when he allowed five hits and seven runs in 4 2/3 innings of a 7-1 loss.


More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball

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