Posted: 5:09 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 11, 2013
This Astros starting pitching staff is really on a roll right now, and if it weren't for such an abundance of losses, the six pitchers would be getting much more attention.
The good news about Dallas Keuchel: His first eight innings consisted of allowing five hits, two runs, no walks, seven strikeouts. That's an awesome outing right there for the Astros' lefty. Plus, the two runs shouldn't have even crossed.
Keuchel cruised into the fifth when Jake Elmore took too long getting a throw to first, allowing Alex Rios to reach on what is technically ruled in baseball as an infield single. Two batters later, Geovany Soto drives in Rios with an RBI ground-rule double to give Texas a 1-0 lead, but Keuchel escapes a second and third, one out jam.
Next inning, with one out, Elvis Andrus reaches via an Elmore throwing error. Not a good day for the young infielder filling in for the injured Jonathan Villar. Three batters later, Rios dumps in an RBI double to right to score Andrus. Once again, Keuchel escaped the second and third jam to keep his team in the game.
But because he pitched so well, keeping Houston down 2-0 going into the ninth, Astros manager Bo Porter threw Keuchel back out to try to finish off the complete game. A double, walk and hit by pitch loaded the bases against Keuchel with one out, but still no call to the bullpen (you know, because it's possibly the worst of all-time and all that) despite the Houston starter having thrown 111 pitches.
Keuchel's 114th pitch was hit to right field for a two-run single by Jurickson Profar. Astros' right fielder L.J. Hoes thought two runs wasn't enough (or maybe he was just mad) as his throw sailed into the Rangers' dugout, allowing Craig Gentry to score from first.
Keuchel still wasn't pulled and he gave up a looping RBI single to left off the bat of Leonys Martin to make it 6-0, Rangers. Mercifully for Keuchel, Jorge De Leon was brought in to record the final out of the ninth.
In the bottom half of the ninth, Chris Carter launched his second home run in as many days, but that was the extent of the Houston offense.
Rangers' pitcher Martin Perez threw his first career complete game to go with his career-high eight strikeouts against the punchless Astros. Jose Altuve had a double while Carlos Corporan and Elmore each had singles to cap off the four-hit effort.