The bugs are back.
The midges, the winged insect that disrupted a playoff game in Cleveland nearly a decade ago, made their return to Progressive Field on Wednesday night.
Swarming players on the field, the bugs temporarily delayed the contest as Carlos Carrasco and the rest of the squad battled the irritating pest.
“That was weird,” the starter told reporters after the game. “I tried to throw a curveball and maybe threw it 20 feet.”
Luckily enough for the Tribe, the midges’ presence had no negative impact on the outcome of the game.
And even more fortunately for the Indians, the team’s previous two losses to the Astros made no impact on their lead in the AL Central.
Despite dropping the first two games in the four-game home-stand against Houston, Cleveland remains 5 and 1/2 games up over Detroit, who has suffered two straight losses against the White Sox.
A timely fifth-inning two-run blast from Cleveland’s most dangerous home-run threat, Mike Napoli gave the Indians a lead they did not surrender. It was his second of the series.
Brandon Guyer’s double later in the inning tacked on two more runs for the Tribe, as Lonnie Chisenhall and Rajai Davis scored on the extra base hit.
The four-run fifth gave the Indians the six runs they needed to knock off the Astros, who did not go away quietly.
A rare chink in Andrew Miller’s armor came in the eighth when the usually flawless lefty gave up a two-run blast to Yulieski Gurriel cutting the lead to one run.
But a dominant three strikeout save from Cody Allen closed the door on any chance of an Astros’ comeback.
The series will conclude tomorrow when Trevor Bauer takes the hill for the Indians. First pitch is scheduled for 12:05.