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Indians Vs. Astros Final Score: First-Place Cleveland Dropped By Houston In Series Finale, 7-1

The Cleveland Indians came up short on Sunday in game three against the Houston Astros, falling 7-1 on a blisteringly-hot day at Houston's Minute Maid Park.

Cleveland hitters struggled mightily to get going against Houston starter J.A. Happ, who gave up just four hits over seven innings of one-run ball to pick up his 6th win of the season. Indians starter Derek Lowe was far from erratic as Happ's opposition on the afternoon, but scattered eight hits through 6.2 innings and did not successfully miss bats with his pitches en route to recording just one strikeout.

Offensively, Casey Kotchman was the lone Cleveland player to have a multi-hit day at the plate as the team combined for just five base knocks against Houston pitching. Kotchman's 2-for-3 performance raised his disappointing season average to .230, and now gives him 10 hits over his last eight contests.

The Indians will have a chance to get back in the win column and fight off the White Sox for first place in the AL Central on Monday as they open a tough road series against the New York Yankees in the Bronx. Pitcher Josh Tomlin (3-4, 5.12 ERA) will get the ball for manager Manny Acta to open the series.

For more on the Indians, head over to Let's Go Tribe. For more Astros coverage, check out Crawfish Boxes. And for even more MLB news and analysis, be sure to visit Baseball Nation.

Photographs by spatulated, Triple Tri, and chrischappelear used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.