The Guardians fell behind 4-0 in the second inning and 5-1 in the fifth, never leading until Brennan’s game-ending hit. Cleveland tied it at 5-5, 6-6, 7-7 and 8-8, but Houston pushed back ahead by one run each time.
“Whatever the challenge that was brought up, we were ready and we capitalized on every moment we could,” Freeman said. “We just tried keeping the line going. That was the biggest thing. And we came out on top at the end.”
The Astros made it 9-8 in the 14th when Kyle Tucker singled in automatic runner Jose Altuve for the second time in three innings. Josh Naylor also scored twice in extras after starting the frame on second base, including the tying run in the 14th.
“We’ve certainly been on the other side of it, but boy, there was so much that happened,” Guardians manager Terry Francona said. “When you’re at home and they score, it’s not like, ‘OK, the game is over,’ because you’ve also got a guy at second.”
Xzavion Curry (3-0) pitched one inning for the Guardians, who played their major league-high 30th one-run game, while Seth Martinez (1-2) worked the final 3 1/3 innings for the Astros.
The 4-hour, 3-minute game was the longest of the season for both teams, both in time and innings.
“That was like a 15-round fight, but we only went 14,” Houston manager Dusty Baker said. “We would score, then they would score. My guys battled hard, they battled hard. That’s a tough one to lose.”
Steven Kwan singled home David Fry in the 13th for Cleveland after Mauricio Dubón’s run-scoring double gave the Astros an 8-7 lead in the top half. Kwan also saved two runs with a diving grab of Altuve’s low liner to left with two outs.
Each team also scored in the 12th with Houston going up 7-6 on Tucker’s RBI single that plated Altuve, and Cleveland extending the game when Naylor scored on a throwing error by shortstop Jeremy Peña.
“I trusted my gut, but it didn’t work out,” said Peña, who attempted to complete an inning-ending double play at first with Brennan. “It was a battle on both sides, back and forth.”
Rookie Yainer Diaz gave Houston a 6-5 lead in the eighth with a sacrifice fly, but Naylor’s two-out, two-strike double off the left-field wall in the ninth off Astros closer Ryan Pressly scored José Ramírez.
Cleveland trailed 5-1 going into the bottom of the fifth, when it scored three times against Cristian Javier. Ramírez’s solo homer in the seventh knotted it at 5-all, giving him four home runs in a two-game span.
Javier, who had won five straight starts, tied his season high with four runs allowed over five innings. The right-hander struck out two, his fewest since 2021.
“We all tried to stay positive and give our guys energy and good vibes in the dugout,” Javier said.
Peña had his second career four-hit game and José Abreu belted a three-run homer in the first off Logan Allen. It was Abreu’s second blast since May 28, when he ended a 51-game homerless drought to begin his first season with Houston.
Ramírez went 3 for 4 with two runs and three walks, one night after he hit three homers against Boston. He is the first Cleveland player with four homers and five extra-base hits over two games since Travis Hafner in 2004.
Before the game, Houston’s Yordan Alvarez, who leads the majors with 55 RBIs, was placed on the 10-day IL with right oblique discomfort. The 25-year-old outfielder was hurt Thursday and returned to Houston for additional evaluation.
READY AND WILLING
Astros 2B Mauricio Dubón filled in for Alvarez in left field. Dubón is in his fifth year in the majors, but has only made seven starts in left - all since being acquired by Houston on May 14, 2022.
“I’m a good athlete, so I know I’ll be good out there,” he said. “I just like being in the lineup.”
Rookie C César Salazar was recalled from Triple-A Sugar Land.
Astros: 2B Dixon Machado (right meniscus) had surgery to repair torn cartilage in his right knee and will be sidelined for at least six weeks. The 31-year-old attended spring training with Houston before being optioned to Sugar Land.
Guardians: RHP Cody Morris (right shoulder strain), who has been on the IL all season, will make two more rehab appearances for Triple-A Columbus before being activated. Francona said Morris will be used as a reliever in Cleveland.
Astros RHP J.P. France (1-1, 3.44 ERA) takes on Guardians RHP Triston McKenzie (0-0, 0.00) in the second game of the three-game set. McKenzie struck out 10 over five scoreless innings in his season debut June 4 at Minnesota.
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