HOUSTON (AP) Charlie Morton does not think he has thrown well this season.
After another strong start on Friday night, it's hard to believe.
Morton pitched seven solid innings, Tony Kemp had a RBI double playoff in the seventh and the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 4-1 for their third straight win.
"I thought it was okay," Morton said. "I thought I did some really good pitches and I thought I came out with some really bad pitches."
Morton (6-0) allowed one run and four hits with eight strikeouts to extend his winning streak, the highest of his career, to nine straight since last September. He lowered his effectiveness to 1.94.
"I think I'm surprised at how effective my four sealants are and it has made my job easier," Morton said. "I do not feel like I'm really throwing in. I'm not really running a ton of pitches, my things are playing pretty well in the area."
Morton retired 19 of the first 21 batters.
"Really good fast ball, really good ball breaking, occasional division and really just a pitch that leaked in the middle of the field." Plate to (Edwin) Encarnación, "Houston manager AJ Said Hinch. "I am very happy that our team has responded and got the victory, but an excellent and very methodical performance for him because of the way he has thrown."
After Cleveland starter Mike Clevinger (3-1) walked Marwin Gonzalez and Derek Fisher to start the seventh, Brian McCann appeared before Kemp hit his RBI ground rule doubles down the line right field to give Houston a 2-1 lead.
"I was trying to put something into play right there," Kemp said. "I just received a heater that I could handle and fortunately it stayed within the line."
George Springer followed with a shot to Kipnis, but Fisher beat the shot home.
"It was a misfortune that it happened," said Indian manager Terry Francona said of the two walks to start the seventh. "I did not think he just walked away, I think he just missed his points."
Evan Gattis added a sacrifice fly in the eighth.
Springer gave the Astros a 1-0 lead with a solo homer to the left in the third.
Edwin Encarnacion tied for the seventh with a solo homer to the right. The Indians have lost three of their last four.
Chris Devenski pitched the eighth inning, inducing an emerging Yonder Alonso to leave the bases loaded. Ken Giles pitched the ninth inning for his seventh save.
Clevinger allowed three runs, eight hits and four walks with six strikeouts in 6 1/3 innings.
"More than a blow to the defense's advantage," Clevinger said. "I feel that sometimes I was somewhat erratic, I made some throws, and the defense was there to back me up."
Clevinger has allowed less than three races in each of his last four starts.
MOMENT OF SANTA FE
The Astros had a moment of silence before the game and flew the flags of Texas in Minute Maid Park at half mast in support of the victims and their families related to the shooting that killed 10 people at Santa Fe High School earlier in the day. Santa Fe is approximately 30 miles southeast of Houston.
THE NAME "TYLER"
RHP Indians Trevor Bauer wrote the name "Tyler" on a piece of tape and put it on Bauer in the back of his jersey. Bauer had a fight on Twitter with several Astros players earlier this month after insinuating that his pitchers were using sticky substances. Astros SS Alex Bregman responded to Bauer on Twitter calling him Tyler. Bauer then denied that he was accusing the Astros of cheating.
"There is not much room for error, they are very loaded from top to bottom, we are there from top to bottom, we are there with them, there is nothing they have that we do not have. special. "- Clevinger said about the Astros' lineup.
Astros: DE Josh Reddick was scratched from the lineup about 2 1/2 hours before the first pitch with irritation in his left leg. 19659002] UP NEXT
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber (6-2) will make his tenth start of the season in the second game of the three-game series on Saturday. Kluber has allowed three races or less at each start this season and each of his last 21 starts dates back to last season.
Astros: LHP Dallas Keuchel (3-5) takes the mound on Saturday looking for his third consecutive victory. Keuchel, who is 4-0 with a 2.21 ERA in his career against the Indians, has had at least seven innings in each of his last four starts.
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