Chas McCormick drove in a pair of runs to fuel the visiting Houston Astros to a 6-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Friday.
McCormick started in right field after Kyle Tucker was removed less than hour before the start of the game with back spasms.
Taylor Jones, who was called up from Triple-A Sugar Land earlier on Friday, joined McCormick with an RBI double among his two hits. Abraham Toro also drove in a run and scored twice for the Astros, who have won the first two contests of this four-game series.
Cleveland’s Cesar Hernandez belted a three-run homer and Oscar Mercado and Franmil Reyes each had three hits. The Indians, however, left the bases loaded in the first, fourth and eighth innings and stranded 15 runners overall en route to posting their third four-game losing skid of the season.
Lance McCullers Jr. (6-1) allowed two runs on six hits while striking out eight in 5 1/3 innings to win his fifth straight decision. He was relieved by Brooks Raley, who saw Hernandez deposit his 2-0 fastball into the bleachers in left field for his 13th homer and second in four games.
Ryne Stanek struck out two batters in the seventh inning and Blake Taylor fanned three in the eighth, including Harold Ramirez with the bases loaded to end the threat. Ryan Pressly struck out two batters in the ninth for his 13th save of the season.
McCormick ripped an RBI double off the wall in right field to plate Toro and open the scoring in the second inning. McCormick didn’t stay there for long, however, as he came around to score on Jones’ double to give Houston a 2-0 lead.
The Astros tacked on four more runs in the third to chase Sam Hentges (1-3), who yielded six runs on as many hits in 2 2/3 innings.
Carlos Correa plated Jose Altuve with an RBI double before a fielder’s choice by Toro scored former Indian Michael Brantley. McCormick’s sacrifice fly plated Correa before Jason Castro’s RBI single two batters later pushed Houston’s advantage to 6-0.
–Field Level Media