George Springer homered twice, Marwin Gonzalez notched two bases-loaded hits, and Carlos Correa snapped a hitless drought as the Houston Astros completed their first postseason sweep, securing this American League Division Series with an 11-3 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Monday at Progressive Field.
Springer set the franchise record with his ninth postseason homer, a game-tying solo shot in the fifth inning, before igniting a sixth-run eighth with an opposite-field blast to right field. He went 3 for 6 with two RBIs, joining Gonzalez, Jose Altuve, and Alex Bregman in recording multi-hit games for the Astros, who advanced to their second consecutive American League Championship Series and sixth LCS.
They will face the winner of the Red Sox-Yankees series in Game 1 on Saturday.
Gonzalez, whose sixth-inning, two-run double off Indians left-hander Andrew Miller gave the Astros the lead for good in Game 2, snapped a 2-all tie with his double to left in the seventh inning off right-hander Trevor Bauer (0-1), making his third appearance in as many games for the Indians. Bauer allowed three runs (two earned) on four hits and one walk over 1 1/3 innings for the Indians, who were eliminated at home in the ALDS for a second consecutive season.
Bauer committed a pair of throwing errors in the seventh, greasing the skids to his own demise.
His errant pickoff throw allowed Tony Kemp, who reached base three times batting ninth, to advance into scoring position representing the tying run. Bauer followed with a throw that pulled Jose Ramirez off second base after fielding a comebacker off the bat of Bregman. Two batters later, Gonzalez (2 for 6, three RBIs) delivered the series-clinching blow for the Astros.
Correa was hitless in his first nine at-bats in the series before clubbing a three-run, opposite-field homer off Indians closer Brad Hand to cap the scoring in the eighth. The Indians bullpen surrendered 10 runs.
It was the first ever MLB postseason game in which a team had three errors committed by pitchers.
Indians right-hander Mike Clevinger recorded nine strikeouts over five stressful innings, allowing three hits and three walks plus the first Springer dinger. But Clevinger needed 28 pitches to escape the third unscathed, and that laborious frame resulted in his relatively abbreviated outing.
Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel allowed two runs on four hits and one walk over five innings. Right-hander Collin McHugh (1-0) earned the victory with two perfect innings of relief.
Cleveland shortstop Francisco Lindor homered for the second time in the series and went 2 for 3, including a 446-foot home run that tied that game at 1. The Indians amassed 13 hits in the series, matching the total the Astros produced in Game 3.