Dallas Keuchel was in control virtually from the beginning today, as he was able to keep the Chicago White Sox off balance for much of the night. Geovany Soto was able to reach on a lead-off single in the fourth and made it all the way to third base with two outs, but the White Sox couldn’t strike pay dirt. For the first five innings, the White Sox had three hits and seven strikeouts against Keuchel.
Keuchel finished with his eighth career, and second straight complete game (second complete game shutout) with a career high 11 strikeouts, and allowed four hits with no walks. Houston Astros’ manager AJ Hinch spoke about his ace after the game, “That was a great game to watch from my seat. He (Keuchel) showed exactly the type of pitcher that he can be on any given night. He came out firing on all cylinders. It was a complete game in every facet.”
White Sox starter Jose Quintana was effecitvely wild throughout the contest, but made pitches when he needed to. The Astros got the scoring started in the fourth inning when Preston Tucker scored on a Jonathan Villar SAC fly. Tucker singled into left field to start the inning and moved over to third on an opposite field single by Evan Gattis. Quintana pitched 6.1 innings and gave up one run on five hits with four walks and seven strikeouts. Hinch was asked about Quintana after the game, “Both pitchers were pretty sharp right away. He had some pitches going too. He can go a lot of different ways. He can go front door fastball and he’s got a good breaking ball. His ball really moves.”
The Astros struck for two more in the bottom half of the eighth inning on back-to-back home runs from Gattis and Chris Carter; the third time this year Houston has gone back-to-back. These two teams will play a rubber match on Sunday afternoon at 1:10 in Houston. The projected match-up is between Houston’s Roberto Hernandez (2-3 4.77 ERA) and Chicago’s John Danks (2-4 5.69 ERA).