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Indians strike first, take a 1-0 lead over the Astros in the third

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Mike Clevinger and Dallas Keuchel made it through the first two innings pretty smoothly, but each ran into trouble in the third. Keuchel more than Clevinger as he allowed a run to give the Indians a 1-0 lead.

Houston loaded the bases with one out in their half of the third, with Tony Kemp walking, Jose Altuve singling him to third and Alex Bregman getting hit right on the rump to load things up. Clevinger worked out of it though, with Yuli Gurriel striking out and Mawin Gonzalez flying out. He scared everyone first by hitting a screaming liner down the first base line that had the distance but not the aim and went foul, but Clevinger wiggled out of it.

In the bottom half Yan Gomes and Jason Kipnis each singled and then both were moved up a base when Francisco Lindor sacrified to Keuchel on the mound. The next batter up, Michael Brantley, hit a long fly ball to left center which was plenty deep to score Gomes. Jose Ramriez flied out to end the inning.

We’re now in the fourth and Clevinger is working, just passing 70 pitches. Keuchel has been far more economical — he threw 43 pitches in his first three innings, but he and the Astros are trailing.

Zach Davies replaces Gio Gonzalez on the Brewers roster

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Major League Baseball just announced that it has approved a roster substitution for the Milwaukee Brewers due to the ankle injury sustained by Gio Gonzalez: right-handed pitcher Zach Davies will take his place. In accordance with league rules, Gonzalez will be ineligible to return if the Brewers make it to the World Series.

That rule is designed to prevent roster gamesmanship such as having a pitcher fake an injury after he’s done being used in an effort to give a team a fresh arm in a short series. A second layer on that is an independent consult with the league, which may approve or disapprove the request based on the specific facts and circumstances of the case. In this case, Dr. Gary Green, MLB’s Medical Director, confirmed Gonzalez’s injury after communicating with the Brewers’ evaluating physician. Not that anyone can really suggest that Gonzalez was faking. The dude’s ankle went sideways.

That being said, this is a benefit to the Brewers at least for the short term. Davies did not have a fantastic season, going 2-7 with a 4.77 ERA in 13 starts and failing to make the Brewers’ initial postseason roster, but he is fresh — he hasn’t pitched since September 28 — which could prove very useful for Craig Counsell and the Brewers after last night’s 13-inning game.