CLEVELAND (AP) — Michael Brantley, continuing his comeback from shoulder problems that forced him to miss most of last season, drove in three runs and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Houston Astros 7-6 on Wednesday night.
Brantley, who played in only 11 games last season after having two operations on his left shoulder, had an RBI double in Cleveland’s three-run first inning and added a two-run single in the fifth.
Carlos Santana had a two-run double in the sixth for the Indians, who have won six of eight.
Trevor Bauer (2-2) allowed four runs in six innings and won his second straight start despite giving up two-run homers to Evan Gattis and Brian McCann.
Cleveland’s Andrew Miller worked out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh by striking out Carlos Correa and McCann.
Houston scored two in the eighth off Bryan Shaw, but Cody Allen recorded the final four outs for his fourth save.
Lance McCullers (2-1) gave up five runs in five innings.
Houston manager A.J. Hinch decided to hold Jose Altuve out of the lineup after his star second baseman collided with teammate Teoscar Hernandez on Tuesday.
Brantley injured his left shoulder late in the 2015 season and had surgery for a torn labrum. He returned a month into last season, but the shoulder soreness persisted and he didn’t play after May 9.
After repeated minor league rehab appearances were cut short, Brantley had biceps tendinitis surgery in August and missed Cleveland’s run to the World Series.
Brantley is batting .318 with four homers and 15 RBIs in 17 games.
Run-scoring doubles by Brantley and Jose Ramirez and a sacrifice fly by Edwin Encarnacion sparked Cleveland’s first.
Gattis’ two run homer — a 433-foot blast to dead center — cut the lead to 3-2 in the fourth. Brantley’s single pushed the lead to 5-2 but McCann’s home run made it a one-run game. Santana’s double moved the lead back to three runs.
Marwin Gonzalez’s two-run double got the lead back to one in the eighth.
Astros: Hernandez (bruised left knee) was placed on the 10-day disabled list. OF Tony Kemp was recalled from Triple-A Fresno.
Astros: RHP Mike Fiers has allowed six homers in 15 innings this year. He gave up three solo shots in five innings on April 21 at Tampa Bay.
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber tossed the first shutout by an AL hurler this season in beating the White Sox 3-0 on April 21.
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