The Indians will need a win Saturday to hang on to their chances of an important series win against the Astros.
Houston took the opening game of the weekend set, 5-1, pushing the Indians five games back of a Wild Card berth.
Right-hander Collin McHugh will take the mound for the Astros, who hope to continue to play spoiler. McHugh continues to prove the shrewdness of the offseason waiver claim that landed him with Houston
The 27-year-old McHugh hasn't allowed more than one run in each of his last four starts. In that stretch, he's thrown 25 1/3 frames with only four earned runs against him.
McHugh's ERA stands at 3.00 after his last outing, a six-inning, six-strikeout win at Fenway Park.
"Results are great, but I think it's obviously still a work in progress," McHugh said after that game. "Every day you're coming to the park and trying to get a little bit better, so I think we did some good things [against Boston] and we definitely have some things to work on leading up to the next start."
The Indians will be countering with Danny Salazar, who is 3-2 with a 3.67 ERA and 26 strikeouts in his last five outings. Over that span, the right-hander's ERA has dropped from 5.53 to 4.79.
Salazar has benefited from a couple stints in the Minor Leagues, working out some mechanical flaws after his early-season difficulties at the big league level.
"[It's] way better. My delivery is the key," Salazar said. "To throw strikes, right now I'm getting ahead in the count a lot more than in the beginning of the year. That makes me feel more comfortable."
Astros: Krauss thrilled to play in childhood dream park
Growing up just a few hours west of Cleveland near Findlay, Ohio, outfielder/first baseman Marc Krauss was a huge fan of the Indians. And with teams as good as the ones the Indians were putting on the field, that meant plenty of trips to then-Jacobs Field.
"We came to the Jake back in the day a lot, my family and I," Krauss said. "Probably four or five times a year to watch them play. It was a lot of fun back in those days. They had a lot of good teams."
Krauss was able to play in the Astros' September series in Cleveland during his rookie season in 2013, hitting .455 (5-for-11) over the four games while enjoying the surreal feeling of playing in the same park he grew up visiting so often.
"Last year, it was a lot of fun," Krauss said. "Could hear people all over the stadium whenever I was out there or up, cheering me on. It's definitely a great feeling having all the support being able to come watch you in person."
Indians: Gomes has mild concussion
Friday morning, catcher Yan Gomes was diagnosed with a mild concussion. He's currently listed as day-to-day.
With Gomes out, rookie catcher Roberto Perez has been filling in. First baseman Carlos Santana is the emergency backup backstop.
• McHugh's road ERA is 1.82 this season.
• Houston starter Brad Peacock exited Friday night's game due to right forearm soreness after five innings.
Matt Slovin is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.