CLEVELAND (AP) — As his team was losing its ninth straight game and for the 105th time this season, Houston manager Bo Porter was hoping his young players had taken notes.
The Indians spent the weekend teaching the Astros lessons.
Erik Bedard was tagged for six runs in five-plus innings and the Astros limped into the final week of an awful season with a 9-2 loss on Sunday to the Indians, who became the first team since the 1961 New York Yankees to sweep six four-games series in the same year.
Following the game, Porter pulled aside rookie center fielder Brandon Barnes and second baseman Jose Altuve — two of Houston's potential stars — and made sure they appreciated the Indians, who tightened their grip on one of the AL wild-card spots.
"I grabbed a couple of our guys after the game and I told them before the series started," Porter said. "I said, 'Do you guys see what I'm talking about? The energy and focus that teams who know they're fighting for their playoff lives have? Did you see how they played these four games?'
"That's where we have to get. You look at their collective group. They have a really good team."
Michael Brantley and Michael Bourn had two RBIs apiece for Cleveland, which won a pair of 2-1 games — the opener in 11 innings — to start the series before the Indians outscored the Astros 13-3 in the last two to complete the sweep.
Chris Carter homered for the Astros, who fell to 51-105 overall. In its inaugural AL campaign, Houston is two losses from matching the club record set last season.
Despite the incessant losing, Porter believes his team will scratch to the season's finish.
"Like I've said all year, they'll come back tomorrow," he said. We'll fight to the very end. The number of losses, whether it's consecutive losses, that's not going to prevent this group or us as a staff from coming in here every day and putting up our best fight."
Astros right fielder Marc Krauss was not aware the losing streak was nearly at double digits.
"I didn't even realize it was that many in a row," Krauss said. "It's frustrating. I feel like we've been in a lot of the games. We've had a lot of tough losses, especially lately."
According to STATS, the Indians are the first team since the '61 Yankees, a team featuring Mickey Mantle and Roger Maris, to sweep six four-games series. The Yankees went on to win the World Series that season.
"We've got a week to go and we're in a fun spot," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "We have to keep winning."
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