Dallas Keuchel had a different catcher before throwing his first pitch for the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Everything worked out just fine with Tim Federowicz behind the plate with the former AL Cy Young Award winner throwing some of his best breaking pitches all season.
Keuchel struck out seven and allowed only two runs over seven scoreless innings Authentic Da'Shawn Hand Jersey , winning for only the second time in his last nine starts, as the Astros beat the Texas Rangers 5-3.
”Some of the shape it was taking early was really good. (Shin-Soo) Choo leading off the game, anytime you get him to swing and miss at a breaking pitch, it’s acting pretty good, and then (Nomar) Mazara struck out looking with a slider away,” Keuchel said. ”Both of those balls had good action and I knew from the then on if I could establish the fastball in to the lefties, it would be a good day.”
Josh Reddick and Tony Kemp homered for the Astros, who are 11-4 this season against their instate division rival, with seven consecutive road wins in the series. Houston is a majors-best 31-14 on the road this season.
Keuchel (5- struck out the first four batters he faced, and six of the first seven.
After catcher Brian McCann went on the disabled list and had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier Tuesday, manager A.J. Hinch said Max Stassi would do the bulk of the catching. But Stassi got hit by a pitch batting in the first, and left the game with a bruised right (throwing) wrist before even taking the field on defense.
”I think we avoided a fracture, very good for us,” manager A.J. Hinch said. ”Got him pretty good in the wrist. Got a welt there, couldn’t flex his hand, hand so mobility.”
X-rays were negative and Stassi is considered day to day.
Keuchel had only thrown a few bullpens with Federowicz in spring training, and a live BP session, before the catcher was called back from Triple-A Fresno earlier Tuesday.
”The way he handled the game not expecting to play, that was really impressive,” Keuchel said.
Choo later walked twice and had two singles to extend his career-best on-base streak to 43 games, the longest in the majors since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman’s 46-gamer two years ago. Choo is three games shy of Julio Franco’s team record of 46 in a row set 25 years ago.
The Astros used three relievers to get through the eighth. Texas already had a run in before Hector Rondon took over against pinch-hitter Joey Gallo, who worked a 12-pitch at-bat into a two-out walk to load the bases before Robinson Chirinos struck out. Rondon then worked the ninth for his sixth save in eight chances.
Houston went ahead to stay in the first when Yuli Gurriel and Reddick had RBI doubles off Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2), who still managed to get through six innings. He struck out four, walked two and hit two batters.
”To get through six in that situation was huge for us,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”Early on it didn’t look that it was going to be the case Authentic JK Scott Jersey , a situation where really didn’t have a whole lot of sink on the fastball. … For us to still have an opportunity there through those innings, it was big-time by him.”
Astros: SS Carlos Correa, out since June 26 with lower back soreness, has been working out daily in Houston. Hinch said it was uncertain if Correa will be ready to play Friday when eligible to come off the DL. He hadn’t gone through any baseball activities yet.
Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette left the game after a 2-1 pitch to Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth. The Rangers said he had a right shoulder strain and would be evaluated further Wednesday. … 1B Ronald Guzman had two hits and scored twice after being activated from the seven-day concussion DL.
The Astros have homered in 23 consecutive road games, a club record and four from matching the MLB record set by Oakland earlier this season. … Before Bibens-Dirkx plunked Stassi in the first inning, Rangers pitchers had gone 22 games without hitting a batter – the longest span for the team since 1998.
DOUBLE DOUBLED UP
Astros leadoff hitter George Springer was in a 3-for-46 slide before a single in the sixth. But he was also doubled off twice on hard lineouts.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after they made a slight tweak in their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr., who was scheduled to start, was instead pushed back to Friday. Rangers lefty Mike Minor (6-4) took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his last start, a win last Wednesday over the San Diego Padres.
BOSTON — Having rallied twice to survive a wild 14-10 shootout on Friday night, the Boston Red Sox send a new ace to the mound in the second game of a three-game series with the Seattle Mariners on Saturday night.
Eduardo Rodriguez, winner of six straight starts, is 9-1 on the season, with his team winning 13 of his 14 outings. He will be Boston’s starter Saturday and will face Mike Leake in a rematch of last Sunday’s Boston win in Seattle.
On a day an ABC News report broke that former Red Sox DH Hanley Ramirez was involved in federal and state drug investigations, his former team spotted Seattle four runs in the first inning. The Red Sox immediately caught up and went ahead in the bottom of the first but then trailed 10-5 before charging back again.
After their bats snoozed through the first two games in Minnesota, the Red Sox have scored 23 runs on 36 hits in the last two games — coming back Friday to hand the Mariners their fifth straight loss, including four on their current 10-game AL East road trip.
“It would be easy to give up in that kind of situation, just kind of coast through the game, but we kept fighting,” said Andrew Benintendi, who went 2-for-4 with an RBI and three runs scored in the win.
According to STATS, Friday’s game marked the first time since September 1945 that the Red Sox won a game in which they had a pitcher (Steven Wright) give up 10 or more earned runs.
The Mariners’ pitching failure wasted a two-homer, seven-RBI game by Nelson Cruz.
“It is disappointing,” said Mariners manager Scott Servais. “You’ve got a five-run lead, you think you’re in pretty good shape. They’ve got a good hitting ball club, but we didn’t execute Authentic Oren Burks Jersey , we didn’t pitch real well tonight and that’s what happens.”
The Red Sox cut the New York Yankees’ division lead to a game and now turn to Rodriguez, who has pitched to a 1.53 ERA during his winning streak, which was capped by his win in Seattle in his last start. In that game on Sunday, he gave up two runs on six hits and one walk over six innings in a 9-3 Boston victory.
His recent success has lowered his season ERA to 3.59.
Leake (7-4, 4.47 ERA), who is 0-3 with a 6.75 ERA in five career starts against Boston, allowed eight hits and five earned runs in six innings last weekend — after five straight starts of allowing two runs or fewer. The right-hander is 0-1 with a 7.94 ERA in two career Fenway starts.
Rodriguez is 2-1 with a 2.66 ERA in four career starts against the Mariners.
Game 2 of the series will take place with the physical status of the rival shortstops uncertain.
Seattle’s Jean Segura missed his second straight game with a forearm infection, while counterpart Xander Bogaerts left Friday night’s game with a sprained left index finger after diving into second on a stolen base.
“Jean actually saw a doctor this morning,” Servais said before Friday night’s game. “They tried to draw some of the infection out, but he’s still pretty sore. He’s not in the lineup tonight, of course.”
Red Sox manager Alex Cora said Bogaerts is day-to-day and added Bogaerts was due for a day off Saturday night, anyway.
As you might have guessed from the 6.75 ERA in five starts against Boston, Red Sox hitters have strong numbers in their at-bats against Leake. Rafael Devers is 3-for-5 (.600) with a homer, Brock Holt 4-for-9 (.444), Bogaerts 5-for-12 (.417), Benintendi 3-for-8 (.375), J.D. Martinez 4-for-11 (.364) with a homer, and Mookie Betts 3-for-9 (.333). Eduardo Nunez is just 2-for-9 (.222).
For the Mariners, Dee Gordon is 4-for-5 (.800), Segura 3-for-6 (.500) and Ben Gamel 3-for-7 (.429) against Rodriguez, but Mitch Haniger is 0-for-6, Ryon Healy 1-for-12 (.083), Nelson Cruz 1-for-10 (.100), Guillermo Heredia 2-for-12 (.167) and Kyle Seager 2-for-9 (.222).
Both weekend games could be threatened by rain that is expected to be in the area throughout the weekend.