HOUSTON -- Before stepping foot in Minute Maid Park and spending the weekend reinforcing their status as reigning American League champions, the Cleveland Indians didn't quite look the part of juggernauts. Once again, that shoe fits.
Yan Gomes followed his run-scoring double in the second inning with a three-run home run in the third, as the Cleveland Indians provided Danny Salazar early run support in an 8-6 win over the Houston Astros on Sunday for a series sweep.
Gomes finished 2-for-3 with five RBI, including his third homer of the season. The Indians (23-19) made short work of Houston right-hander Joe Musgrove (3-4) and saddled the Astros (29-15) with just their second three-game losing skid, climbing to a season-high-tying four games above .500 with their pristine play.
"Even though we're winning some ballgames, our biggest goal coming into this series was just to play good baseball," Gomes said. "Come in, play competitive baseball. This (Houston) is the best team in the AL right now and there's a reason for it, and when we come in and play good ballgames I think we're going to beat a lot of people. So, it was good to see us do that."
Yan's May (12 games): .395, nine RBI, eight extra-base hits.— #VoteTribe 5x a day (@Indians) May 21, 2017
Career-high five RBI today.
Here's Hammy. pic.twitter.com/RyTIuQWEcR
Edwin Encarnacion reached base three times, scored three runs, and tacked on an RBI single to kick-start the Indians' three-run fourth inning. Gomes was hit by an Ashur Tolliver pitch with the bases loaded in the fourth, preceding an infield single by Bradley Zimmer that plated Encarnacion with the final run of that inning.
Musgrove pitched to two batters in the fourth inning, surrendering back-to-back singles to Jason Kipnis and Francisco Lindor before departing. He allowed a season-high seven earned runs on eight hits and three walks. Four of those hits went for extra bases, including doubles from Encarnacion and Michael Brantley.
"I felt like a two-pitch pitcher today," Musgrove said. "I wasn't able to get a feel for my slider. I couldn't throw it where I wanted. The changeup the same way. I didn't throw too many. The curveball was really good though, and the fastball was good. I don't know if they saw too many of them."
Trailing 2-0 in the second inning, the Astros cut that deficit in half when Carlos Beltran belted his fourth home run, a solo shot to right field off Salazar (3-4).
Salazar allowed three runs on four hits and three walks with seven strikeouts over 5 2/3 innings. Of his 105 pitches, just 57 were strikes, but after allowing the Altuve homer, Salazar recovered to strand two additional baserunners that frame.
"He bent but he didn't break," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "I know we set up a high bar for Danny because of his stuff. Just know that there's more in there and we want him to reach that level so bad. I'm thrilled we won. I just think he can set himself up the way he's pitched to have more success."
The Indians won five of six games against the Astros this season.
"This is a good team across the way, we all know that," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "They are an excellent team when you give them an extra 90 feet, and we did that multiple times with some walks. That's a difficult way to live against a good team."
NOTES: Astros C Brian McCann was placed on the 7-day concussion disabled list, retroactive to May 20. The club could not pinpoint when McCann suffered the concussion, but signs point to a pitch he took off his mask last Sunday in New York against the Yankees. McCann played on Tuesday night in Miami and in the series opener against Cleveland on Friday before disclosing that he wasn't feeling well. ... Indians RHP Corey Kluber completed a 50-pitch simulated game on Saturday at Progressive Field and will throw a bullpen on Monday before being re-evaluated. Kluber is tentatively scheduled to make a rehab start on Thursday. He landed on the 10-day disabled list on May 3 with a lower back strain. ... The Astros selected C Juan Centeno to the major league roster as a corresponding move to McCann going on the concussion DL. Centeno was hitting .368 with seven doubles and nine RBIs over 22 games with Triple-A Fresno. He will make his Astros debut either Monday or Tuesday night against Detroit.