HOUSTON — Even if four Cleveland Indians pitchers had combined on a no-hitter, manager Terry Francona wasn’t certain it would’ve been cause for celebration.
Jed Lowrie broke up the bid by homering with one out in the ninth inning for Houston’s only hit Thursday in a 5-1 win for the Indians.
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Before that homer, Trevor Bauer and the Indians’ bullpen had walked seven batters.
“I asked (bench coach Brad Mills) in the ninth: ‘If we get through this with a no-hitter are we supposed to be excited?’ I wasn’t really sure,” Francona said.
“There’s a lot of baserunners. So that was probably the least of our thoughts. We were just trying to set up our staff and win a game and do what we think is right.”
Bauer was pulled after throwing 111 pitches through six innings. He struck out a career-high 11 and walked five.
He was slightly more excited about the prospect of taking part in a no-no.
“Anytime you have a no-hitter going, it’s fun and there’s a special air in the building,” Bauer said. “Obviously it’s unfortunate to see the home run, but the team won and at the end of the day that’s what matters.”
Relievers Kyle Crockett and Scott Atchison each pitched a scoreless inning before Nick Hagadone took over.
Hagadone struck out Chris Carter to begin the ninth. Lowrie then sent a 94-mph fastball far over the left-center field wall for Houston’s only hit.
“Lowrie swung and missed on a fastball, and I tried to throw another one, and he didn’t swing and miss,” Hagadone said.
Lowrie and the Astros were relieved to escape with a hit.
“It’s a weight lifted off the whole dugout, the whole team,” Lowrie said. “Hopefully it was good for morale.”
The Indians have not pitched a no-hitter since Len Baker threw a perfect game in 1981 against Toronto.
Bauer and the Cleveland relievers teamed to strike out 16.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images