CLEVELAND — Carlos Carrasco overcame a home run and an apparent bug in his eye to pitch into the eighth inning, and the Cleveland Indians defeated the Houston Astros 6-5 on Wednesday night.
The game-time temperature was 87 degrees, causing swarms of midges to journey from Lake Erie to the muggy ballpark.
Carrasco (11-7) allowed Colby Rasmus’ two-run homer in the fourth, one batter after the game was stopped briefly when one of the bugs appeared to get in his eye.
The right-hander regrouped after the home run, allowing four runs in 7 1/3 innings.
Mike Napoli’s two-run homer off Doug Fister (12-11) gave Cleveland a 4-3 lead in the fifth. Pinch-hitter Brandon Guyer added a two-run double in the inning and the Indians extended their lead over Detroit to 5 1/2 games in the AL Central.
Cody Allen gave up a leadoff single in the ninth, but struck out the next three batters, including Jose Altuve — the AL’s leading hitter — to earn his 25th save.
The loss cost Houston a chance to gain ground in the AL wild card race. The Astros still trail Baltimore by two games.
Carrasco threw a first-pitch ball to Yuli Gurriel in the fifth and then bent over. A trainer made a brief visit to the mound to assist Carrasco, who gave up a single on the next pitch.
Rasmus hit the first pitch into the seats in right field, giving Houston a 3-2 lead.
Houston still led by a run when Francisco Lindor singled to start the fifth. Napoli hit his 31st homer — a 433-foot blast three-quarters of the way up the bleachers in left field.
Guyer, batting for Tyler Naquin, doubled in two more runs off Kevin Chapman.
Gurriel hit his first major league home run — a two-run blast off Andrew Miller in the eighth.
Lindor was 3 for 4 for his 23rd three-hit game, a major league high. Lonnie Chisenhall had three hits and an RBI for Cleveland.
Astros: SS Carlos Correa was sent back to Houston because of inflammation in his left shoulder.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (separated right shoulder) caught five innings for Triple-A Columbus on Wednesday, his first time behind the plate since being injured July 17.
Astros: RHP David Paulino, one of Houston’s top prospects, makes his big league debut Thursday. He went 5-4 with a 2.00 ERA at three minor league levels covering 20 outings.
Indians: RHP Trevor Bauer tossed seven scoreless innings in a May 10 victory at Minute Maid Park. He is 4-0 with a 0.67 ERA in four career starts against the Astros.