Keuchel, Astros Shut Down Struggling Oakland Athletics

Pitching was the name of the game early on in today’s get-away day matinee between the Houston Astros (27-14) and the Oakland Athletics (14-28). Dallas Keuchel (6-0) put his perfect record on the line and didn’t disappoint in seven innings of work for the Astros. In those seven innings, Keuchel gave up one unearned run on six hits with two walks and four strikeouts.

After the game, Astros’ manager A.J. Hinch spoke about his ace. “I thought he was as sharp as he’s been all year early on,” Hinch said. “They made him work a couple of innings that were pretty long which got him out of there after seven, but he really dialed it up.”

Oakland’s Jesse Hahn was impressive as well, as he was able to keep Houston off of the basepaths for much of his outing. In six innings of work, Hahn gave up 3 runs on 5 hits while striking out six for the Athletics, who couldn’t give him any run support.

Hinch praised Hahn after the game. “I thought Hahn threw the ball really well so we didn’t really have any activity on the bases. He just never gave in to us.”

Hahn ran into some trouble in the third inning when Marwin Gonzalez led off with a double to left-center field. Gonzalez would reach third on a wild pitch and score on a Jake Marisnick bloop single down the right-field line.

The Athletics would finally get on the board in the sixth on an error by Chris Carter with runners on first and second. Billy Butler was able to scramble home without a throw after George Springer retrieved the ball in shallow right field. That tie didn’t last long, though, as Houston did some two-out damage of their own in the bottom half of the inning. After Jose Altuve popped out to second and Luis Valbuena struck out, Springer hit a screamer through the left side for a single. Following Springer was Evan Gattis, who hit a 1-0 fastball over the left-field train tracks for his eighth homer of the season. It also regained the Houston lead to 3-1.

The Astros weren’t done, as Houston added to their lead in the eighth inning against Dan Otero. Valbuena led off the inning with a single to right field, Springer followed that up with a broken bat double down the right field line, and Gattis reached on a full-count walk. Astros’ left fielder Colby Rasmus hit a sacrifice fly to deep center on a play where everyone tagged up and advanced, scoring Valbuena from third. Carter followed that up with a two-run single to shallow center field to put Houston even more comfortably in the lead at 6-1. Will Harris shut the door on Oakland in the ninth to cap off a 7-2 home stand for Houston.

WP: Dallas Keuchel 6-0

LP: Jesse Hahn 1-4

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