Before Saturday's game, Indians manager Terry Francona was asked about changing his lineup. It was understandable. The Indians had lost five straight games while scoring a total of 11 runs. Francona smiled, and, in so many words, said the lineup was built this way for a reason and before he started ripping it apart, he would like to see what it looked like when all parts were properly functioning. Less than two hours later, Francona saw just that as the Indians dismantled Houston, 19-6, at Minute Maid Park. The Indians set season highs in runs and hits (22). In the first two innings, the Indians scored 14 runs, three more than they had scored in the five-game losing streak. It was just the fourth time in franchise history that the Tribe had scored that many runs in the first two innings. "We had a team meeting before the game," said DH Jason Giambi, who doubled, homered and drove in five runs. "We all knew we were pressing. We just needed to relax." Every Indians starter had at least one run and one hit by the second inning. Like the questions about Francona's lineup, it was understandable since the Indians sent 23 men to the plate before the Astros were able to record six outs. Nick Swisher led the Tribe's attack with four hits, including a career-high three doubles. Giambi's three-run homer, No. 431, tied him for 42nd place on the all-time list with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr. "He's quite a presence to have in the middle of your lineup," said Francona. Mark Reynolds hit a three-run homer in the first -- on the pitch before the homer Reynolds was hit by a pitch, but plate umpire Mike DiMuro didn't give him first base -- and an RBI single in the second to give him a team-high 17 RBI. Last season, Reynolds had three RBI in April for Baltimore. "I told the umpire the pitch hit me in the arm," said Reynolds. "The umpire said you didn't react like it. I told him, 'What do you want me to do, cry?' " Houston right-hander Philip Humber allowed eight runs on eight hits in one-third of an inning. The beating came a day short of the one-year anniversary of his perfect game against Seattle when he pitched for the White Sox.
Indians use 19 runs and 22 hits against Astros to end five-game losing streak
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Apr 21