sunny.png
Wednesday March 20th, 2019 1:45PM

Springer, Astros hit 4 HRs, down Indians 7-2 in ALDS opener

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

HOUSTON (AP) — George Springer and the Houston Astros picked up right where they left off last postseason, hitting four home runs to power past the Cleveland Indians 7-2 Friday in Game 1 of the AL Division Series.

Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve and Martin Maldonado also connected for the Astros, who hit a World Series-record 15 homers last year in winning their first championship.

Much was made about the pitching prowess these teams possess in the days leading up to this game. But it was a bunch of longballs to put the Astros ahead in this best-of-five series.

Houston's pop backed up a solid start by Justin Verlander, who bested Corey Kluber in a matchup of Cy Young Award-winning aces in the first postseason meeting between these teams.

Verlander took a no-hitter into the sixth inning and allowed two hits and two runs in 5 1/3 innings for his 12th career playoff win. The Indians finished with only three hits, all singles.

Kluber, a two-time Cy Young winner who was coming off his first 20-win season, was tagged for three home runs in 4 2/3 innings. It was a repeat performance from last October's ALDS, when he made two starts against the Yankees and left with a 12.79 ERA.

Game 2 is Saturday in Houston. Gerrit Cole starts for the Astros against Carlos Carrasco.

The Astros hit 27 homers last postseason — Springer hit five in the World Series and set a record by connecting in four straight games on his way to winning the MVP award.

Bregman, coming off a breakout year, got Houston's first hit with his drive to the Crawford Boxes in left field to start a two-run fourth inning.

The 103-win Astros were still up 2-0 when Springer led off the fifth with a full-count homer to left. That made him just the third player in major league history to homer in five straight postseason games.

Two pitches later Altuve, last year's AL MVP, connected for his eighth career postseason homer when he also sent one to left field. He began last year's playoffs with three home runs in the ALDS opener against Boston.

Kluber watched stone-faced as Altuve headed for first and shook his head slightly as he rounded the bases and the crowd roared with scattered chants of "MVP."

Kluber followed up his splendid regular season with another playoff dud. A year after giving up four homers in two starts against the Yankees, the longball again proved to be a problem for him. He left with two outs in the fifth inning after allowing six hits and four runs while walking three.

Verlander was masterful through the first five innings, with Cleveland's only baserunner in that span coming on a walk to Jose Ramirez with two outs in the first. The Houston right-hander set down 13 in a row after that, fanning seven, including striking out the side in the third.

Yan Gomes broke up the no-hitter with his single to shallow right field to start the sixth and Francisco Lindor singled with one out in the inning. When Verlander walked Michael Brantley to load the bases after that, manager AJ Hinch had seen enough and replaced him with Ryan Pressley.

The Indians cut the lead to 4-1 on a wild pitch by Pressly, who came to Houston in a July trade, and got within two when Lindor scored on a groundout by Ramirez.

Maldonado, making his playoff debut, connected off Cody Allen for a two-out homer in the seventh. Bregman made it 6-2 with an RBI single later in the inning.

UP NEXT

Cole (15-5, 2.88 ERA) ranked second in the AL with 276 strikeouts this season, only trailing Verlander's 290, and was fifth with 200 1/3 innings pitched. He will be making his fourth playoff start and first since 2015 with the Pirates. He is 1-2 with a 3.94 ERA in those games.

It will be just the second career postseason start for Carrasco (17-10, 3.38), who is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in eight appearances, with seven starts against Houston.

___

More AP MLB: https://apnews.com/tag/MLB and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Baseball , AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Sports - Major League Baseball
© Copyright 2019 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Sheriff: Man ambushed officers coming to question adult son
Authorities say the 74-year-old Vietnam veteran accused of shooting seven law enforcement officers in South Carolina ambushed investigators coming to question his adult son about a sexual assault
6:04PM ( 29 minutes ago )
Latest: Prosecutor calls Van Dyke verdict 'justice' for many
Some jurors in the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke say they spent much of their deliberations on whether to convict him of first-degree or second-degree murder, not an acquittal
5:57PM ( 36 minutes ago )
Springer, Astros hit 4 HRs, down Indians 7-2 in ALDS opener
George Springer and the Houston Astros picked up right where they left off last postseason, hitting four home runs to power past the Cleveland Indians 7-2 in Game 1 of the AL Division Series
5:56PM ( 38 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Oklahoma and Texas both ranked adds to prefect fair setting
No. 7 Oklahoma and No. 19 Texas both being ranked adds to perfect fair setting for Red River rivalry game
5:37PM ( 57 minutes ago )
Jets D-coordinator Rodgers dealing with 'serious' illness
New York Jets defensive coordinator Kacy Rodgers has "serious" illness; uncertain if he'll be on the sideline Sunday against Denver
4:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
Sponsor downplays Ronaldo on website; Juventus shares drop
Cristiano Ronaldo's image is vanishing from the website of a key sponsor
4:39PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Sports
LEADING OFF: Astros, Indians buck opener trend; Yanks-Sox
LEADING OFF: Astros, Indians buck opener trend; Yankees and Red Sox renew October rivalry
1:47AM ( 16 hours ago )
Ryu sharp, Dodgers hit 3 HRs, beat Braves 6-0 in NLDS opener
Hyun-Jin Ryu pitched seven dominant innings, Max Muncy hit an early, three-run homer and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Atlanta Braves 6-0 in their NL Division Series opener
1:00AM ( 17 hours ago )
Moustakas scores Yelich in 10th, Brewers top Rox in opener
Mike Moustakas scored MVP front-runner Christian Yelich with a two-out single in the 10th inning, and the Milwaukee Brewers bounced back to beat the Colorado Rockies 3-2 to open their NL Division Series
10:45PM ( 19 hours ago )
AP Online Baseball
On hot streak, OF Ryan Braun hitting third for Brewers
Ryan Braun will hit third for the Milwaukee Brewers in Game 1 of their National League Division Series against the Colorado Rockies
2:06PM ( 1 day ago )
Red Sox, Yankees ready to rumble again in playoffs
Fans have been waiting for another one of these rumbles: the Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees tangling again in the playoffs, this time as 100-win heavyweights in the playoffs
5:01AM ( 1 day ago )
LEADING OFF: Brewers go bullpen, Dodgers send out Ryu
LEADING OFF: Brewers go bullpen, Dodgers send out Ryu
3:26AM ( 1 day ago )
AP Sports - Major League Baseball
Sheriff: Man ambushed officers coming to question adult son
Authorities say the 74-year-old Vietnam veteran accused of shooting seven law enforcement officers in South Carolina ambushed investigators coming to question his adult son about a sexual assault
6:04PM ( 30 minutes ago )
Latest: Prosecutor calls Van Dyke verdict 'justice' for many
Some jurors in the trial of Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke say they spent much of their deliberations on whether to convict him of first-degree or second-degree murder, not an acquittal
5:57PM ( 37 minutes ago )
Collapsed northern Arizona highway under repair
Transportation crews are repairing a major northern Arizona highway that tourists use to reach the Grand Canyon's North Rim, Lake Powell and southern Utah
5:55PM ( 40 minutes ago )
Suspect in model's death told cop they fought over cocaine
A man accused in the strangulation death of a model says in a statement to police he went to her apartment in an affluent Philadelphia suburb to sell her cocaine but she refused to pay and a violent fight ensued
5:52PM ( 42 minutes ago )
Rock used as doorstop is actually a meteorite worth $100K
A Michigan man has discovered that what he'd been using as a doorstop for decades is actually a meteorite worth $100,000
5:51PM ( 44 minutes ago )