Having held a coveted American League Wild Card spot for a second straight day, the Indians go for a sweep Sunday that would go a long way toward getting them to their ultimate October goal.
When they wrap up their four-game set with the Astros, the Indians will be looking to keep some serious momentum going, sending Corey Kluber to the mound against Astros left-hander Erik Bedard in the finale. The Indians have won eight of their last 10 games.
With Saturday's win, the Tribe retained the second Wild Card spot, remaining a half-game behind the Rays for the top spot. The Rangers are still just a half-game behind Cleveland, following a 3-1 win at Kansas City on Saturday.
The Indians are hoping to make their first postseason appearance since 2007, when they entered as the AL Central champion, as they did in '01 and 1995-99. In terms of the Wild Card race, this marks just the third time the Indians have held at least a share of a Wild Card spot this late in the season ('00, '05).
"It's all about the W's at this point," said Indians first baseman Nick Swisher. "If we keep winning, the season keeps going, and hopefully everyone here in Cleveland gets a little happier."
This stands as the biggest start for Kluber, who will be making his 23rd. Since Kluber returned from the disabled list on Sept. 7, the Indians have won all three of his starts, with the right-hander going 2-0 with a 4.30 ERA in 14 2/3 innings of work. Kluber, who missed a month with a right finger injury, gave up three earned runs in 4 2/3 innings his last time out in a no-decision vs. the Royals.
This will be Bedard's second start since rejoining the rotation after rookie Jarred Cosart was shut down. Bedard threw only four innings Monday against the Reds because his arm wasn't built up following four relief outings.
Manager Bo Porter says Bedard has been invaluable as the lone veteran among a bunch of youngsters.
"If you spend a lot of time around Bedard, he's not a guy that talks too much in crowds or groups of people," he said. "I've witnessed his grabbing guys one on one and having that mentor-type relationship, and that's invaluable, especially with the number of young guys we have here."
Astros: Carter bashes on road
• Chris Carter broke up a shutout with a ninth-inning solo shot Saturday, giving him 28 homers and 78 RBIs. Remarkably, 18 of those homers and 53 of those RBIs have come in his 71 road games played.
• The Astros lost their eighth straight game Saturday, extending their longest losing streak of the season. They had lost six straight seven times before dropping their seventh Friday.
Indians: Evaluating Swisher
Swisher came into Cleveland on a big multiyear contract, and there are people who have suggested his stats don't necessarily stack up. But Cleveland manager Terry Francona isn't one of them.
"When a guy signs a big contract, it doesn't mean they're going to hit .300 and drive in 100. There's a little misperception there," Francona said. "He's actually creeping up toward a lot of the numbers he's put up career-wise."
Through Saturday, Swisher is batting .250 with 25 doubles, 20 homers and 58 RBIs -- only the RBIs considerably below his career norm. Francona appreciates other aspects Swisher brings.
"He's the same guy every day since Day 1. And he wants to win so bad that sometimes he tries to do too much," Francona said. "And if that's the worst thing you can say about somebody, that's a pretty big compliment."
• The Indians hold a 5-1 edge over the Astros in the 2013 season series heading into Sunday's finale, and are 13-11 all time.
• After Sunday's game, the Indians will have Monday off before the White Sox come in for two games, followed by a four-game set in Minnesota to conclude the regular season.
• Sunday's game will be Houston's final game outside of Texas this year. They will play three in Arlington against the Rangers before closing at home against the Yankees.
John Schlegel is a national reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.