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Back-to-back Astros homers blow things open in the fifth inning

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The Astros drew first blood in the fourth but they have blown things open in the fifth.

Following their jumping out to a 2-0 lead, the Indians went quietly in the fifth, with Justin Verlander striking out Josh Donaldson and Yonder Alonso and getting Melky Cabrera to fly out to end things. Then the Astros came back to bat.

George Springer led off the inning and, after working the count full, took a Corey Kluber cutter out to left field for a leadoff homer to make it 3-0. Two pitches later Jose Altuve jacked a sinker to the same part of the ballpark.

Kluber stayed in but after recording two outs, he gave up a bloop single to Marwin Gonzalez and that was all she wrote. It’s 4-0 and the Indians bullpen is now on the case.

Not the start Cleveland wanted from its ace in Game 1, that’s for sure.

White Sox won’t make bid for Bryce Harper

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The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.

Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.

Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.

The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.