Cleveland Indians (76-73) at Houston Astros (67-83)
Tuesday, September 16 - 8:10 PM EST
Minute Maid Park, Houston, Texas
The Cleveland Indians call upon their ace to try to stop a damaging losing streak when they continue a four-game series at the Houston Astros on Tuesday. Corey Kluber, who is 8-3 since the end of June, will be tasked with helping the Indians end an ill-timed four-game slide. The losing streak continued with a 3-1 loss in the series opener on Monday, dropping Cleveland 5 1/2 games behind Kansas City for the second wild-card spot in the American League.
The Indians managed six singles and one double against four Astros pitchers in Monday's setback and have scored just 13 runs over their last five games. While Houston has little to play for in the standings, there will be some drama surrounding second baseman Jose Altuve, who needs one hit to match Craig Biggio's single-season franchise record of 210. Altuve recorded three hits, including a two-run single, to lead the Astros to their fifth straight home win in the series opener.
TV: 8:10 p.m. ET, SportsTime Ohio (Cleveland), CSN Houston
PITCHING MATCHUP: Indians RH Corey Kluber (15-9, 2.45 ERA) vs. Astros RH Nick Tropeano (1-0, 3.60)
Kluber has recorded 30 consecutive starts in which he has held opponents to four earned runs or fewer, which is the longest streak in the majors. He kept that remarkable run alive with 8 1/3 dominant innings Thursday against Minnesota, which got to him for just two runs. Kluber is 2-0 with a 1.93 ERA in two career starts versus Houston and owns a 2.33 mark in 16 appearances at home this year.
Tropeano will be making his first career home start after beginning his major-league career at Seattle on Wednesday. He held the Mariners to two runs and four hits while striking out five in five innings to pick up the win. The 24-year-old, who led the Pacific Coast League with a 0.99 WHIP this year, has allowed two earned runs or fewer in five straight starts dating back to his time with Triple-A Oklahoma City.
1. Houston is 8-4 under interim manager Tom Lawless.
2. Astros DH Chris Carter has a home run, a double and two walks in nine plate appearances versus Kluber.
3. Indians LF Michael Brantley has gone 2-for-4 in four consecutive games.
PREDICTION: Indians 4, Astros 3