Indians’ losing streak hits 5 as Cleveland falls to Astros

4/20/2013
ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Indians' Brett Myers delivers a pitch against the Astros in the first inning in Houston. Myers gave up five hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out four.
The Indians' Brett Myers delivers a pitch against the Astros in the first inning in Houston. Myers gave up five hits and three earned runs in five innings of work. He walked two and struck out four.

HOUSTON — J.D. Martinez and Rick Ankiel hit back-to-back homers in the second inning, and the Houston Astros held on for a 3-2 win over the Cleveland Indians on Friday night.

The win snaps a five-game skid for Houston and extends Cleveland’s losing streak to five.

Houston starter Lucas Harrell (1-2) allowed two runs in 5 2/3 innings before three relievers combined to shut Cleveland out the rest of the way.

Closer Jose Veras allowed one hit in the ninth for his first save in two tries.

Carlos Pena walked with one out in the second inning before Martinez got Houston’s first hit by launching a homer in the stands in right field off former Astro Brett Myers (0-3) to make it 2-0. Martinez left the game with a sprained knee in the fourth inning.

Ankiel followed with another homer to right field to push the lead to 3-0.

Lonnie Chisenhall closed the gap to 3-2 when he connected on a homer that sailed just inside the foul pole in right field in the fourth inning.

Myers, who was facing Houston for the first time since a trade last summer, allowed five hits and three runs with four strikeouts in five innings. He has given up an MLB-high 10 home runs with an 8.02 ERA in four games with three starts this season.

Harrell was chased by a single by Mark Reynolds with two outs in the sixth inning, and was none too happy about it. He stalked off the field before throwing his glove, hat, and a cup of water when he reached the dugout.

He yielded five hits and two runs with five walks and four strikeouts.

Wesley Wright and Hector Ambriz combined to allow two hits in 2 1/3 innings before Veras came on for the save.

The Indians' Lonnie Chisenhall keeps his eye on the ball as it goes over the wall for a two-run home run against the Astros in the fourth inning in Houston.
The Indians' Lonnie Chisenhall keeps his eye on the ball as it goes over the wall for a two-run home run against the Astros in the fourth inning in Houston.

The Indians couldn’t string together any hits late in the game as they fell to 0-10 this season when trailing after six innings. Jason Kipnis singled with two outs in the seventh inning before Asdrubal Cabrera struck out swinging to end the inning. The frustration for Cabrera, who is hitting .138, was evident after the strikeout when he angrily threw his bat.

Nick Swisher doubled to start the eighth before Carlos Santana drew a one-out walk. But Reynolds grounded into a double play to end the threat.

The Indians haven’t been able to generate much offense this season and have been held to three runs or less in five straight games and 10 of 15 overall.

NOTES: The Astros observed a moment of silence before Friday night’s game to remember the victims of the Boston Marathon bombings and those killed and injured in the fertilizer plant blast in West, Texas. The Astros are also accepting donations this weekend at the ballpark to send to those affected by the explosion at the fertilizer plant. ... These teams continue the series today when Cleveland’s Scott Kazmir is expected to come off the disabled list to make his first major league start since April, 2011, against Philip Humber. Kazmir, who was on the DL with a rib cage strain, spent last season in the independent Atlantic League with the Sugar Land Skeeters. “The biggest thing is just getting him stretched out again so he can get deep enough into games,” Indians manager Terry Francona said. “He can pitch and he’s not going to be scared. So we’re excited about it.”