Indians score 19 runs in rout of Astros

Indians score 19 runs in rout of Astros

HOUSTON -- Everything went right Saturday night for the Cleveland Indians.

First baseman Mark Reynolds, hitting seventh in the lineup, knew it would be a good night when he got to bat in the first inning. Reynolds hit a three-run homer, part of an eight-run inning, to propel the Indians to a 19-6 rout of Houston at Minute Maid Park.

"That's the way it goes," said Reynolds, who had two of Cleveland's 22 hits. "We found some barrels. Not hit the balls at people for a change."

Reynolds thought he was hit by a pitch from Houston's Philip Humber on the pitch before his home run.

"I said, 'It hit me,'" Reynolds said he told home-plate umpire Mike DiMuro. "He said, 'No, it didn't.' Well, it did. He said, 'Well, you didn't act like it.' What do you want me to do, cry?"

The Indians added six more runs in the second inning to take a 14-run lead.

"That's what we talked about before the game, don't press, have fun, pass the torch to the next guy," Reynolds said. "We did that tonight."

Scoring 19 runs might help make the Indians relax at the plate.

"It helps guys feel better about themselves," manager Terry Francona said. "I do think it helps guys loosen up a bit."

Nick Swisher started the night 4-for-4, but couldn't get one more hit to break his career high. Three of his hits were doubles.

Swisher called the win a coming-out party for Cleveland.

"It was great," he said. "We've been struggling. To pull off 19 runs -- we got some home runs by our big boys [Reynolds and Jason Giambi]. Got a lot of guys on base. Hopefully, that's one of those snowball games that really gets us rocking and rolling.

"We've got a lot of young guys who showed a ton of maturity today. Things haven't been going our way. Situational hitting, we took a lot of pride in that tonight. That's our team. It goes to show how dynamic our lineup is."

Humber -- who pitched a perfect game on April 21 last year -- looked defenseless, giving up all eight runs in the first and retiring only one batter.

"It was tough to make any adjustments," Humber said. "They were jumping on the first thing I threw over the plate every time and hitting the ball hard. I don't know, what can you say? I made some good pitches that got hit hard and it was a tough night."

Cleveland left-hander Scott Kazmir made his first Major League start in two years. He couldn't get the win, throwing only 3 1/3 innings and giving up six earned runs on seven hits.

But Francona wasn't disappointed.

"It worked out in a lot of ways," said the manager. "It allowed us to let Kazmir pitch and stretch him out. He got to 90 pitches, which is right where we wanted it to be.

"It would have been nice [to go] five and get the win. That would have been pushing it. He started to get tired the last couple of hitters. He had to go down and throw between innings [while we scored all those runs]. Those are long innings. But we'll take it."

Kazmir admitted to some nerves after pitching last season in an independent league. "I was a little jittery," he said. "Overall, there's stuff I can take out of this start, what not to do. I never really got into the flow of the game. I was half offspeed, half fastballs. I was just not able to get in sync. You want to attack the hitters. I was not able to pitch my game. I'm a guy who pitches off his fastball. I like to attack the strike zone with my fastball."

Corey Kluber pitched four nearly flawless innings of relief to earn the win. He gave up just two singles, struck out four and walked none.

"I haven't thrown a lot," Kluber said. "I'm stretched out because of starting in the Minors. It felt good to get some quality innings under my belt. As long as I've been here the bullpen's been a big strength of the team."

The only bad news for the Indians was that Asdrubal Cabrera had to leave the game after the top of the first inning with a left wrist contusion.

Cabrera slipped on the steps walking from the clubhouse to the dugout before the game and used his left arm to break the fall. He still started and batted twice in the first inning. He singled off Humber and scored, then grounded out off left-handed reliever Dallas Keuchel to end the inning.

"When he turned around [to bat] right-handed, it started to bother him," Francona said.

X-rays were negative.

"It's a little sore right now," Cabrera said. "It's not a big deal. Everything's good. I don't feel like it was serious. A little sore. I don't think [I'll play Sunday]. I'll be back soon. Maybe Monday."

Gene Duffey is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.