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.
Jane Lee of MLB.com reports that Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman has undergone his second surgery of the offseason. After feeling continued discomfort in his left shoulder, he had a distal clavicle resection on Friday, for which he’ll be sidelined at least six weeks before getting cleared to resume his preseason workout regimen.
The 25-year-old corner infielder closed out his sophomore season in the majors in 2018. He batted a terrific .278/.356/.508 with 24 home runs, an .864 OPS and 6.5 fWAR across 616 plate appearances, received his first career Gold Glove distinction and was a finalist for the American League MVP award as well. Despite recent complications, Chapman’s regular season performance wasn’t marred by injury — he sustained a right thumb contusion in June, but bounced back within three weeks and enjoyed a strong second half — and the A’s will undoubtedly look to him as one of their strongest performers in 2019.
Friday’s procedure was his second of the year, as he also underwent an ulnar sided sesamoid bone excision in his thumb back in October. Per Lee and MLB.com’s Manny Randhawa, Chapman is expected to make a complete recovery within a two-month window, after which point he’ll likely be in fine shape to contribute during spring training.