MLB Game Preview - Houston at Cleveland
Tue Jul 30, 2019 7:10 PM EDT

BAL
8
SD
5
F
SF
2
PHI
4
F
ATL
11
WAS
8
F
ARI
4
NYY
2
F
MIN
2
MIA
1
F
PIT
11
CIN
4
F
TB
6
BOS
5
F
HOU
2
CLE
0
F
SEA
8
TEX
5
F
NYM
5
CHW
2
F(11)
CHC
1
STL
2
F
TOR
9
KC
2
F
LAD
9
COL
4
F
MIL
2
OAK
3
F(10)
DET
1
LAA
6
F
All-Star starters to clash when Astros meet Indians
Tue Jul 30, 2019 1:05 PM

The Cleveland Indians hope an off day will be just what they need to cool their jets after an emotionally charged loss in their last outing.

The Indians begin a nine-game homestand on Tuesday when Shane Bieber (10-3, 3.44 ERA) takes the mound against fellow right-hander Justin Verlander (13-4, 2.86) and the Houston Astros in the opener of a three-game series.

The Astros will be without outfielder Jake Marisnick, who lost his appeal of a two-game suspension for a July 7 collision with Los Angeles Angels catcher Jonathan Lucroy. Marisnick will miss the first two games of the series as the Astros will be limited to 24 players.

While Bieber has been enjoying a red-hot stretch with four wins in his last five starts, teammate Trevor Bauer lost his cool on Sunday and tossed the ball over the center-field wall prior to exiting the team's 9-6 setback to Kansas City.

A frustrated Bauer said he was "consumed" by his competitive fire during his post-game apology, while Cleveland manager Terry Francona was quick to cite a litany of events that led to his pitcher's undoing.

"So many things went wrong in that (five-run fifth) inning, we lose a ball in the sun, we get a tapper back to (Bauer), there's a walk or two mixed in with some hits and a couple balls that weren't hit hard," Francona said. "It seemed like everything that could happen, did."

What also happened is the Indians saw their four-game winning streak come to a halt and fell two games behind first-place Minnesota in the American League Central.

Bieber will look to return Cleveland to its winning ways after allowing just one hit while striking out 10 in a 4-0 shutout at Toronto on Wednesday.

The 24-year-old has faced the Astros on just one occasion during his brief career, yielding three runs on as many hits over six innings in a no-decision on April 27.

Verlander will bid for his fourth straight victory on Tuesday after permitting one unearned run on two hits while striking out 11 in six innings of a 4-2 victory against Oakland.

The 36-year-old is 3-0 with a 2.00 ERA over his last three starts heading into the tilt versus the Indians, against whom he owns a 20-24 record with a 4.71 ERA in 52 career starts. Verlander is just 9-16 with a 5.56 ERA in 28 career starts at Progressive Field and hasn't won a game in Cleveland since 2013.

Jose Ramirez, who has homered in each of the Indians' last four games, is 11-for-28 with five extra-base hits (three doubles, two homers) in his career versus Verlander.

Carlos Santana has 18 hits -- including eight homers -- off Verlander in his career. Santana belted his team-leading 22nd homer of the season on Sunday after sitting out two games with an ailing shoulder.

"Sometimes it's hard for guys when they're not in the lineup like that," Francona said. "But sometimes when they're nicked up, to give them a couple days can help in the long run."

The AL West-leading Astros continued their ascent by recording their ninth win in 11 outings with a 6-2 victory over St. Louis on Sunday.

Jose Altuve reached an impressive milestone after launching a three-run homer in the fifth inning to highlight his eighth three-hit performance of the season. The hit was the 1,500th in the career of the 2017 AL Most Valuable Player.

"The game was on the line when I hit the ball," the 29-year-old Altuve said. "You're not thinking about 1,500 hits. You're thinking about winning the game."

Altuve is a robust 15-for-31 with four homers, eight RBIs and six runs scored in his last eight games. He is 0-for-2 in a small sample size against Bieber.

Yuli Gurriel carries a 16-game hitting streak into Tuesday's tilt versus Cleveland, against which he went 3-for-16 when the teams split a four-game series from April 25-28.

--Field Level Media

Team Record Comparison

Team Standings GB W-L Aw/Hm Stk L10
Houston            
Cleveland            

Scheduled Starting Pitchers

Justin Verlander - HOU
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Cleveland
Shane Bieber - CLE
Matchup
Season
vs. Opp Has not pitched vs. Houston

Hot Batters (Last 10 team games)

Injury Report