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Indians top Astros to maintain lead as the AL’s second Wild Card

Sep 21, 2013, 8:52 PM EDT

Houston Astros v Cleveland Indians Getty Images

The Indians entered tonight’s action with a half-game lead over the Rangers for the second Wild Card in the American League. The two teams have been trending in opposite directions, with the Rangers having lost nine of their last ten contests, while the Indians have won seven of their last nine. The Tribe sent lefty Scott Kazmir to the hill tonight to help defend their lead and bolster their post-season hopes.

Kazmir received some early run support, scoring three times in the first inning against Astros starter Lucas Harrell thanks to a Jason Kipnis sacrifice fly and a two-run home run by Michael Brantley. Lonnie Chisenhall added another run in the fourth inning with an RBI single.

Kazmir held the light-hitting Astros scoreless over seven innings of work, allowing a meager three hits and walking one while striking out ten. He lowered his ERA to 4.14 in the effort and logged his third multi-strikeout performance of the season. He was pulled in the eighth after allowing a lead-off double to L.J. Hoes. Cody Allen relieved Kazmir and ended the eighth without any damage. In the ninth, reliever Joe Smith allowed a two-out solo home run to Astros slugger Chris Carter to mar the shutout, but was able to eventually record the 27th out to wrap up the 4-1 victory.

The victory moves the Indians to 85-70 and will finish the night no worse than a half-game up on the Rangers, who are currently leading the Royals 3-0 as of this writing.

  1. theuncletodd - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:12 PM

    A completely flawed team that just might make some noise IF they make it. I love these guys. No .300 hitters, nobody with 30 HR’s, RBI leader is under 85….Just grind it out with above average starting pitching and who cares about the Factory Of Sadness!

    • chill1184 - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:32 PM

      Whats the Factory of Sadness?

      • historiophiliac - Sep 21, 2013 at 10:09 PM

        Foxconn

      • largebill - Sep 21, 2013 at 10:47 PM

        The Factory of Sadness is sadly the accurate nickname for Browns stadium.

  2. proudlycanadian - Sep 21, 2013 at 9:15 PM

    I am sure that Cleveland fans are very happy. The remaining schedule is not difficult, but they still have to go out and win. It looks as if Texas will win tonight’s game against KC.

  3. kelshannon19 - Sep 21, 2013 at 11:55 PM

    Paul Clemens started, not Lucas Harrell. Both equally shitty. Just saying.

    • mc1439 - Sep 22, 2013 at 12:47 AM

      ^ Yes.

  4. janessa31888 - Sep 22, 2013 at 1:17 PM

    Dimples strikes again!!!

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