CLEVELAND — The Houston Astros' journey through the land of American League playoff contenders has been a success so far.
Jon Singleton's homer capped a four-run ninth inning and the Astros took advantage of Cleveland's sloppy defense to defeat the Indians 5-1 on Friday night.
Houston, beginning the final leg of a 10-game road trip, took two of three at Yankee Stadium before coming to Cleveland, and has won four of five overall.
The Astros have been the team taking advantage of mistakes against teams trying to reach the postseason.
"It's huge, that's what winning ballclubs do," Singleton said. "When teams are making small mistakes like that, other teams capitalize and come out with the win."
The Astros had lost six straight against Cleveland, getting outscored 41-15.
Singleton hit a three-run drive off Cody Allen (4-3) after a pair of throwing errors by the worst defensive team in the majors.
Catcher Roberto Perez's wild throw let the go-ahead run score. A throwing error by first baseman Carlos Santana set up Houston's big inning.
"I felt like our guys did a good job of being aggressive and took advantage of some mistakes in which the other team made," Astros manager Bo Porter said.
Tony Sipp (4-2) pitched the eighth. The Indians helped him by getting two runners thrown out on the bases.
Astros starter Brad Peacock gave up one run and was pulled after five innings because of discomfort in his right forearm.
Marwin Gonzalez homered for Houston and Zach Walters connected for Cleveland in the fifth. Walters homered for the third straight day.
After Allen issued a one-out walk to Chris Carter, Santana threw wildly to second after fielding Dexter Fowler's groundball. The error moved Carter to third.
Then when Fowler tried to steal second, Perez's high throw glanced off shortstop Jose Ramirez's glove and rolled into the outfield, allowing Carter to score.
Singleton then put the game away.
"Every time I go up there I try and hit a ball hard," he said. "Sometimes you don't do that and you still got to go up there and do your job. It's definitely nice to know all the hard work is not wasted."
The Indians lead the majors with 99 errors after committing 98 when they made the playoffs last season. Their poor play, however, wasn't limited to defense Friday. Cleveland had runners on first and second with no outs in the eighth before shoddy baserunning ended the threat.
Mike Aviles, who led off with a single, was caught off second on Perez's bunt attempt. Tyler Holt, who advanced to second while Aviles was tagged in a rundown, was later thrown out trying to steal third.
Cleveland manager Terry Francona was understandably displeased with the mistakes.
"Obviously, we need to do better," he said. "We can't play like that and expect to win."
Carlos Carrasco allowed one run in six innings for Cleveland.
BO KNOWS FOOTBALL
Porter played football at the University of Iowa and follows the sport closely. He has taken special interest in the Cleveland Browns since they drafted Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel in May. "I'd like to be on the sideline giving 'Johnny Football' advice before he goes in," Porter joked.
Carter has hit 17 homers since July 1, which is five more than any other player in the majors. He also leads the league during that span with 42 RBIs and a .665 slugging percentage.
Astros: Porter said he didn't want to take any chances with Peacock when his forearm tightened up. ... RHP Chad Qualls, who had been out with a sore back, pitched the ninth inning, his first appearance since Tuesday.
Indians: C Yan Gomes (concussion) did some light pregame activity Friday. He was hit in the mask when a pitch deflected off Minnesota's Kurt Suzuki on Thursday. There's no timetable for when Gomes will return.
Astros: RHP Collin McHugh (6-9) is seeking his first career three-game winning streak Saturday. He'll be facing the Indians for the first time.
Indians: RHP Danny Salazar (4-6) goes against the Astros for the first time in his career. He's 4-1 when he throws at least five innings this season.