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HOUSTON (AP) — With his team facing one of the hottest pitchers in baseball, Astros left-hander Brett Oberholtzer was up for the task Wednesday night.
The same could not be said of the Houston offense.
Oberholtzer pitched well into the eighth inning, but the Astros had no answer for Carlos Carrasco and the Cleveland Indians, who blanked Houston 2-0.
However solid Oberholtzer's outing was, it was no match for Carrasco, who was lights out on his way to his first career complete game, a two-hitter that came with a career-high 12 strikeouts.
"Carrasco was on," Oberholtzer said. "He was mowing through the lineup."
Oberholtzer (5-12) scattered the runs on seven hits over 7 2-3 innings for his second straight loss.
"I felt pretty good with everything," Oberholtzer said. "My fastball command was pretty good to both sides of the plate."
Astros interim manager Tom Lawless was complimentary of Oberholtzer's pitching, highlighting his command.
"His change-up was good," Lawless said. "He had his fastball working on both sides of the plate. When he stays aggressive, those are the kind of outings he's had. He's had a lot of those outings. It's just unfortunate his record doesn't reflect that."
Nonetheless, going against Carrasco proved a tough gig for Oberholtzer.
"I just had to match him pitch for pitch and keep my team in the ballgame," Oberholtzer said. "And whatever happens, happens."
Carrasco (8-5) retired his first seven batters before walking Jon Singleton in the third. The right-hander did not allow a hit until Jose Altuve's infield single leading off the fourth.
"He made great swings," Carrasco said of Altuve. "I wasn't thinking (no-hitter). I was thinking about getting an out."
Altuve leads the majors with 213 hits, which ties Dustin Pedroia for the most by a second baseman since 1975. Pedroia had 213 hits for Boston in 2008, when he won the AL MVP award.
Altuve had another infield single with two outs in the ninth, snapping a streak of 17 straight batters retired by Carrasco.
Altuve said Carrasco was incredible, and he felt lucky to get the two hits.
"The two hits I got, I didn't hit the ball past the infield today," Altuve said. "One to shortstop, a strikeout and two groundballs. If you were able to get two hits, you feel good."
Yan Gomes had an RBI single in the fourth inning and a run-scoring triple in the sixth.
Carrasco walked one in his first career complete game. His previous best for strikeouts was 10 on Sept. 2 against Detroit, and his longest outing had been 8 2-3 innings on Sept. 7 against the Chicago White Sox.
In eight August and September starts, Carrasco has allowed just seven runs in 54 innings — including four in his previous start Friday at Detroit. He has not permitted a run in four of those eight starts.
Lawless said Carrasco is one of the best pitchers in the league.
"He made pitches — he made a lot of good pitches," Lawless said of Carrasco. "We didn't have any chances to score runs tonight."
Indians: OF Ryan Raburn had an MRI on his left knee that revealed a meniscus injury, Francona said. Raburn will have season-ending surgery. "He needs to get the meniscus fixed, so we are in the midst of having that set up to have the scope, and it will be done sooner rather than later," Francona said. "Hopefully real soon. Ligaments are good, all intact."
Astros: RHP Brad Peacock, scratched from his scheduled start Monday with lower back tightness, will start Friday against Seattle.
The Indians will send RHP Danny Salazar (6-7) to the mound Thursday in the finale of the four-game series. Salazar is 3-2 with a 2.43 ERA in seven starts in August and September. Houston will counter with RHP Scott Feldman (8-11), who allowed two runs in six innings Saturday.
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