A day after the Angels scored six runs off against a former Cy Young Award winner, Astros pitcher Dallas Keuchel turned in his third consecutive Cy Young-worthy performance. Keuchel dominated the Angels batters, scattering five hits and two runs over 8 2/3 innings, to lead the Astros to a 5-2 victory Monday night. Keuchel struck out eight and walked one, throwing 128 pitches before being pulled with two outs in the bottom of the ninth inning. With two outs in the bottom of the ninth, Mike Trout ran out an infield single, resulting in a look of disgust on Keuchel’s face and a visit from Astros manager Bo Porter. Albert Pujols – the next batter – singled to left and Trout went to third, causing Porter to lift Keuchel for Josh Zeid. Howie Kendrick ended Keuchel’s steak of 21 consecutive scoreless innings when he hit a two-run triple to right off of Zeid. Zeid got CJ Cron to ground out to third to end the game. “We gave (Keuchel) every opportunity to get the complete game shutout,” Porter said. “It just didn’t happen, but don’t take anything away from his performance tonight. It was outstanding.” Before the final inning, Keuchel only got in trouble in the bottom of the fourth inning with one out when Kendrick followed an Albert Pujols single with an infield single. Keuchel got Cron to ground into a 6-4-3 double play to end the inning. Keuchel said he could remember one other stretch in his career where he has pitched so well. “I think I had a pretty good stretch in high school,” Keuchel quipped. “Professionally, this is it. I’m just going out and trying to compete.” The Astros (17-28) remembered to pack their bats for a 10-game road trip, continuing their hot-hitting from their successful homestand, scoring five runs in the first three innings. The Astros batters had 10 hits, the ninth consecutive game they have had at least eight hits. “You always want to jump out in front. It’s never good to play from behind,” Porter said. “I felt like the game plan was good and the players did a good job of executing it. They made (Richards) get the ball up and they put some really good swings on it.” After doubling to lead off the game and advancing to third on a wild pitch, Jose Altuve scored when Richards’ attempted pickoff throw sailed into left field. Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez followed with back-to-back RBI singles to give the Astros a 3-0 lead before a single out had been recorded. The Astros tacked on runs in the second and third innings to pad the lead. In the top of the second inning, Altuve scored from second on two-out single to right-center by Dexter Fowler. Fowler was thrown out trying to stretch his hit into a double to end the inning.
Keuchel leads Astros to third straight win
Houston Chronicle | May 20