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Rookie sensation: Cody Anderson keeps it up, pitches Indians past Astros 3-1

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CLEVELAND — Cody Anderson says he isn't paying attention to his numbers. The rookie right-hander might be the only one.

Anderson pitched three-hit ball into the seventh inning, his latest splendid performance for Cleveland as the Indians defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 on Thursday night.

Making his fourth major league start, Anderson (2-1) allowed Hank Conger's leadoff homer in the third but little else. He struck out one and walked two in 6 2-3 innings.

Anderson has given up three earned runs in 30 1-3 innings for a 0.89 ERA since being called up from Triple-A Columbus on June 21.

"I'm not looking to have great numbers or anything," he said. "I'm just trying to win games. I've been doing this long enough now, not in the big leagues obviously but in the minor leagues, where you can block that out and go about your business."

The 24-year-old Anderson began the season at Double-A Akron and was promoted to Columbus after 10 starts. He made only three at Triple-A before getting the call to Cleveland, but has given the rotation an unexpected boost from the No. 5 spot.

Asked if Anderson was on the Indians' radar in spring training, manager Terry Francona said: "He was on the 40-man roster, but did we think he'd help us this quick? To be honest with you, probably not."

Houston starter Brett Oberholtzer (2-2) took a shutout into the sixth before Cleveland scored three times. Touted rookie Francisco Lindor tied the game with a leadoff homer. Ryan Raburn's RBI double put the Indians ahead, and Carlos Santana's triple made it 3-1.

Cody Allen allowed a single and a walk in the ninth, but retired Evan Gattis on a popup for his 18th save.

The Indians, who have won eight of 11, took three of four from the AL West leaders. The Astros started the season 18-7 but are 31-32 since May 3.

Anderson was the first pitcher to throw at least 7 2-3 innings in each of his first three starts since Pittsburgh's Tim Wakefield in 1992.

Anderson pitched 7 2-3 shutout innings and received a no-decision in his big league debut against Tampa Bay. Eight days later, he took a perfect game into the seventh against the Rays that was broken up by Grady Sizemore's home run. He went eight innings and earned the win. Anderson also held Pittsburgh to one run in eight innings Saturday, but lost 1-0.

PHOTO: Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor, center, is congratulated by manager Terry Francona, left, and Jason Kipnis, right, after Lindor hit a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Thursday, July 9, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Cleveland Indians’ Francisco Lindor, center, is congratulated by manager Terry Francona, left, and Jason Kipnis, right, after Lindor hit a solo home run during the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Houston Astros, Thursday, July 9, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Francona thought Anderson looked a little stiff after the first pitch in the seventh and went to the mound, but returned to the dugout after a quick visit.

"I just wasn't loose yet," Anderson said. "I didn't know what was going on. I threw one pitch and I thought he was going to pull me."

Houston scored three runs in the last three games of the series after Monday's 9-4 victory.

"We didn't do much offensively," manager A.J. Hinch said. "After the first night they really kept us in check. Their pitching handled us in this series."

Oberholtzer, recalled from Triple-A Fresno on Wednesday, allowed three runs in five-plus innings.

Lindor's second career homer barely cleared the 19-foot wall in left field. Michael Brantley doubled and scored on Raburn's double. Santana's drive to deep center caromed off the wall and rolled away, allowing Santana to reach third as Raburn scored.

HOT CLOSER

Allen has converted his last 15 save chances since April 29 and limited hitters to a .157 average during that span.

TRAINER'S ROOM

Astros: RHP Chad Qualls (pinched nerve in neck) allowed one run and threw 14 pitches in two-thirds of an inning at Double-A Corpus Christi on a rehab assignment.

Indians: RHP Josh Tomlin, who had shoulder surgery in March, will begin a rehab assignment at Double-A Akron on Friday. He's scheduled to pitch three innings.

UP NEXT

Astros: RHP Collin McHugh goes for his 10th win of the season Friday. He originally was scheduled to start Thursday, but was pushed back a day.

Indians: RHP Danny Salazar makes his first career start against Oakland on Friday at Progressive Field. He is 3-1 in six home starts this season.

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Photo Gallery:
PHOTO: Cleveland Indians relief pitcher Cody Allen, right, is congratulated by catcher Yan Gomes after the Indians defeated the Houston Astros 3-1 in a baseball game, Thursday, July 9, 2015, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
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