CLEVELAND: It took eight runs of support and 10 outs worth of grit in a tight game to get through it, but the hitters did enough, the bullpen held a lead and the Indians defeated the Houston Astros 8-6 Saturday night at Progressive Field.

The Indians never trailed after the fourth, but considering the firepower in the Astros lineup and the recent state of the bullpen, it never felt comfortable, either.

Indians starting pitcher Carlos Carrasco exited with two outs in the sixth and the Indians clinging to a 7-5 lead. Carrasco almost escaped the inning, which began with the Indians leading by four runs, but walked Evan Gattis and then allowed a two-run home run to Tony Kemp to cut the lead in half.

The Astros (34-19) pulled to within one run in the seventh. Jose Altuve ripped a ball to deep center field off Zach McAllister, who relieved Carrasco. Greg Allen gave chase and dove for it, momentarily appearing to make a highlight-reel catch. But the ball popped loose, giving Altuve a triple, and Carlos Correa then grounded out to the right side to score Altuve to make it 7-6.

Michael Brantley added an insurance run — a worthy investment for a club needing as much run support as possible late in games — with a solo home run to center field off Astros reliever Brad Peacock in the seventh. It was Brantley’s eighth home run of the season and extended his hitting streak to 15 games, the longest active streak in the majors.

Tyler Olson retired the lone batter he faced in the eighth inning and, after allowing a single, Dan Otero induced an inning-ending double play. Cody Allen entered in the ninth and locked down his eighth save of the season, aided by a sliding play by Jason Kipnis to rob George Springer of a hit and prevent the tying run from coming to the plate.

And, for a bullpen that has recently been decimated, it was a badly needed instance of that group preserving a lead and making a four-home-run offensive night stand up.

Carrasco (6-3) was tagged with five earned runs on seven hits to go with two walks and eight strikeouts in 5⅔ innings, another so-so start as the Indians No. 2 starter in the rotation saw his ERA rise to 3.98.

The Indians (25-25) scored seven runs off Astros starter Lance McCullers Jr. (6-3) with three home runs in his 4⅓ innings of work. Yonder Alonso belted his 10th home run, a line-drive two-run shot, and Kipnis launched his second homer, a two-run blast that sailed just inside the right field foul pole. Both came in a four-batter stretch in the fourth inning that put the Indians up 5-2.

An inning later, Edwin Encarnacion drilled a two-run home run, his 11th of the season, to center field to push that advantage to 7-3.

Ryan Lewis can be reached at rlewis@thebeaconjournal.com. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/indians. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/RyanLewisABJ.