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Published: Monday, 4/22/2013

Indians’ homers lead to slamming of Astros

Cleveland wins 2 of 3 against new AL opponent

ASSOCIATED PRESS
The Astros' Justin Maxwell cannot make the catch, giving the Indians' Yan Gomes a triple. The Astros' Justin Maxwell cannot make the catch, giving the Indians' Yan Gomes a triple.
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HOUSTON — The Cleveland Indians hit four home runs and manager Terry Francona still thought a catch by Drew Stubbs was the biggest play of the day.

Stubbs made the dazzling catch to limit the damage in the first inning and homered in the sixth before Mark Reynolds' seventh homer of the season put Cleveland on top in a 5-4 win over the Houston Astros.

The drive by Reynolds, who also homered in Cleveland's 19-6 win Saturday, helped the Indians take two of three in the series.

Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes also added home runs for the Indians.

Jose Altuve drew a leadoff walk before Fernando Martinez, who came off the disabled list on Saturday, connected on his first pitch of the season for a solo homer that made it 2-0. The shot broke a streak of 14 2/3 scoreless innings against the Astros for Indians starter Ubaldo Jimenez.

Jason Castro singled before Stubbs made the nifty over-the-shoulder catch while sprinting near the wall right-center and the Indians made it a double play when Castro couldn't beat the throw back to first.

"It started out a little rocky. That second hit of the game hits that short porch and then in my opinion Drew Stubbs saved the game two hitters later," Francona said. "They've got a runner on first and they've got a ball that's going to hit the wall and be a triple. And Drew catches it and we double the guy off, and in my opinion that gave us a chance to win the ballgame."

Stubbs, who played in Houston often when he was with Cincinnati, wasn't sure if he'd be able to get to it when it was hit.

"You never know," he said. "With the big outfield there, balls that are ordinarily home runs in a lot of parks are able to get tracked down. So I knew I had a chance at it, and luckily was able to get a good jump. That play was a turning point for the game."

Added Jimenez of the catch: "That was unbelievable. It gave me a break and helped me out to get to the second inning and keep it going."

The Astros dropped to 5-13 with the loss, which is the worst record in the American League, and their worst start through the first 18 games since posting the same record in 1983.

The game was tied at 4 in the seventh inning before the two-out full-count homer to left-center by Reynolds off Hector Ambriz (0-1). Fernando Martinez hit a two-run homer in the first inning for Houston in his 2013 debut.

Cody Allen (1-0) got the final out of the sixth and Chris Perez pitched a scoreless ninth for his second save in three opportunities.

The Astros had a great opportunity in the ninth when Rick Ankiel led off with a first-pitch double to center field before Perez plunked Matt Dominguez on the elbow. He was replaced by pinch runner Brandon Barnes.

A sacrifice bunt by Marwin Gonzalez advanced the runners before Cleveland intentionally walked Jose Altuve to load the bases. But Perez worked out of the jam by striking out Chris Carter before Castro grounded out to end the game.

NOTES: The Indians placed starter Brett Myers on the 15-day disabled list with inflammation in his right elbow.



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