Two runs aren't much, but the way the Indians have played this season, they were more than enough Friday night at Minute Maid Park.

The Indians scored one run in the first inning and one in the ninth to bookend a four-hit shutout by Ubaldo Jimenez, Joe Smith, Vinnie Pestano and Chris Perez in a 2-0 victory over Houston. It was the Indians' fourth straight win and gave them a 11/2 game lead in the AL Central.

This year the Indians are 22-10 in games decided by two or fewer runs (12-2 in one-run games and 10-8 in two-run games).

"When you win a lot of close ballgames, it's a good sign," said manager Manny Acta. "We've been pretty good and that's due to our bullpen. When you get late in games, your bullpen is responsible for those close ballgames. Our guys are pretty tough from the seventh inning on."

Jimenez (7-5, 5.00) pitched 6 innings.

In the seventh, with runners on first and second and the Tribe leading, 1-0, Acta pulled a double switch and brought Smith into the game for Jimenez. Smith, facing Jose Altuve, hitting .435 (10-for-23) with two out and runners in scoring position, struck him out to end the threat.

"Smitty got a huge out," said Acta.

Pestano worked the eighth, but it was not a quiet inning. Jordan Schafer, Jed Lowrie and Carlos Lee hit rockets to right-center field, but they were all caught.