Tale of two innings for Astros' bullpen

After Harris escapes jam in seventh, Thatcher allows go-ahead hit in eighth

Tale of two innings for Astros' bullpen

CLEVELAND -- In a span of two innings Wednesday night, the Astros' bullpen appeared to have saved the day against the Indians before taking the loss.

After right-hander Will Harris recorded three outs to strand a pair of runners in the seventh inning, lefty Joe Thatcher gave up a two-run, tiebreaking double to David Murphy in the eighth that allowed the Indians to take a 4-2 win at Progressive Field.

"It was a fastball," Thatcher said. "I was trying to go away and didn't cut like it normally does, just kind of stayed middle and he put a good swing on it. So, it happens."

Murphy's go-ahead double

Thatcher allowed a broken-bat double by Francisco Lindor with one out, and then walked Michael Brantley, which manager A.J. Hinch said set up the inning. Thatcher agreed.

"You know, that's what happens when you don't make pitches," he said. "Murphy put a good swing on a ball, so it's been a tough couple days, but I should bounce back, be ready for tomorrow."

The bullpen, which has been one of the best in baseball this season, has a 4.87 ERA in July with 11 walks in 20 1/3 innings.

"The walk burned us a little bit," Hinch said. "And that's uncharacteristic of our guys to give a free base. I know Lindor got the double first, but the walk to Brantley sort of set up the inning for Murphy to come up with the big hit."

In the seventh, Harris came into the game with runners at first and second and no outs. After striking out Brandon Moss, Giovanny Urshela hit a laser into left field that was caught on the run by Colby Rasmus. Michael Bourn grounded out to the pitcher to end the inning.

Rasmus' reaching catch

"I pretty much know in that situation, it's going to be me, especially if there's a few righties coming up," said Harris, who has a 0.91 ERA. "I treat it like any other inning."

Hinch summed it up best: "Will Harris again came in and did what Will Harris has been doing all year."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.