Trevor Bauer will try to help his club close out the three-game set with another win Sunday while bouncing back from another difficult outing.
After winning seven of 10, Cleveland (65-63) gave up four runs in the ninth inning Friday in a 5-1 loss to Houston (55-75). The Indians trailed by two runs early Saturday before coming away with a 3-2 victory.
Rookie infielder Jose Ramirez ended the game with an RBI single to left field and finished with two hits for the third consecutive game.
"That's a fun way to play," manager Terry Francona said. "We had some youth out there, and we're seeing what they can do."
Bauer (4-7, 4.41 ERA) has mixed lackluster outings with a pair of quality ones over his last five starts. His performance in Minnesota on Tuesday wasn't one of those stronger starts as he struggled once again in the first inning.
Bauer gave up five runs in that opening inning before retiring 14 of the final 15 batters in his 4 2-3 innings. He avoided a fourth consecutive loss when his teammates rallied for a 7-5 win.
The right-hander has allowed five runs and failed to make it past the fifth inning in three of his last five outings. He gave up five runs in the first in a 10-6 loss at the New York Yankees on Aug. 8, and has a 5.68 ERA in that inning overall.
"I think he's got to be able to make some adjustments early on. He just fell behind every hitter and paid dearly for it," Francona told MLB's official website.
Bauer, though, also pitched beyond the seventh inning and allowed three runs or fewer in his other two starts this month.
In his first start against Houston, Bauer will pitch opposite Brett Oberholtzer (4-8, 4.01), who had his string of quality outings snapped Tuesday at the New York Yankees.
The left-hander was charged with four runs in 5 1-3 innings in a 7-4 victory after going 2-1 with a 2.63 ERA in his prior six starts. Oberholtzer, though, did record seven strikeouts, one shy of matching a career high.
The four runs came on two hits - a two-run homer by Brian McCann and a two-run double by Martin Prado.
"He made two pitches that he would probably want to have back," manager Bo Porter said. "Overall, he threw the ball well."
Oberholtzer yielded two unearned runs and four hits in six innings in his only start against Cleveland on Sept. 20, but suffered a 2-1 road defeat.
The Astros will try to finish 6-4 on their road trip - matching their performance from their other 10-game trek May 19-28 - while earning just their second win in the last nine games against Cleveland. Houston is 1-7 in its past eight contests at Progressive Field.
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