Triston McKenzie allowed two hits over eight shutout innings to lead the Cleveland Guardians to a 1-0 victory against the visiting Houston Astros in the finale of their four-game series on Sunday afternoon.
McKenzie (8-8) struck out eight and walked one. Emmanuel Clase pitched the ninth for his 24th save.
Luke Maile homered, and Steven Kwan and Oscar Gonzalez had two hits each for the Guardians, who won the final two games of the series to earn a split.
Astros starter Cristian Javier (6-8) allowed one run and six hits in six innings. He struck out four and didn’t walk a batter for the Astros.
Maile homered to lead off the fifth and give the Guardians a 1-0 lead. It was his first home run since May 20, 2019, when he played for the Toronto Blue Jays.
Trey Mancini and Chas McCormick had back-to-back one-out singles for the Astros in the second, but McKenzie struck out Mauricio Dubon and Jake Meyers to end that threat.
That would be the start of 18 straight batters retired by McKenzie, who needed just five pitches to retire the side in order in the first inning and six to get through the third and seventh innings.
He had thrown just 75 pitches through the seventh inning.
Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker, who had missed the previous three games with an illness, pinch hit for Dubon in the eighth and walked to end the string of consecutive outs at 18.
Jose Altuve pinch hit after Tucker got aboard and hit into an inning-ending double play.
Jose Ramirez doubled with two outs in the first inning for Cleveland, but Javier struck out Josh Naylor to end the inning.
Gonzalez blooped a single into shallow left-center field with two outs in the fourth to put runners on the corners, but the Astros escaped that inning unscatched when second baseman Aledmys Dias made a nice backhand play on a grounder up the middle by Owen Miller.
–Field Level Media