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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.

Donaldson ejected for kicking dirt on plate after home run

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Minnesota’s Josh Donaldson managed to get ejected while hitting a home run.

Donaldson barked at plate umpire Dan Bellino for the second time in the sixth inning of a 4-3 loss to the Chicago White Sox on Thursday.

With the score 2-2, Bellino called a strike when the 2015 AL MVP checked his swing on a 2-0 pitch from Reynaldo Lopez.

Manager Rocco Baldelli came out to speak with Bellino, and Donaldson homered down the left-field line on the next offering. After rounding the bases, Donaldson kicked dirt at home plate as he crossed it.

Bellino ejected him immediately, and Donaldson, realizing he had missed home plate, returned to the plate to touch it and then argued as he kicked more dirt on it.

Donaldson also had argued with Bellino on a 1-1 breaking ball in the first inning that appeared to be high but was called a strike, leading to a strikeout.

“We need Josh on the field, out there playing, and at third base,” Baldelli said. “That’s when we’re at our best. And so that’s really the end of it. I think we can move past it at his point, and go from here.”

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