Dallas Keuchel had everything working for him as he was able to tie his career high in strikeouts for a single game (11) with the final out of the sixth inning against Alex Rodriguez. With a strikeout to Chase Headley in the ninth, the Houston Astros’ ace finished the game with 12 strikeouts, a career high in a complete game shutout, allowing six hits and walking one.
After the game, Manager A.J. Hinch spoke about Keuchel’s start, “That’s probably as good as I’ve seen him. The game plan for him is to use his pitches and be aggressive. His pitches were moving all over the place tonight which made them have to be aggressive.”
Keuchel has pitched a complete game in each of his two career starts against the Yankees becoming the latest to do so since LHP Teddy Higuera in 1985.
The Astros broke through for single runs in both the second and fifth as Keuchel shut down the visiting New York Yankees in game one of a four game set between the two sides at Minute Maid Park in Houston. Colby Rasmus scored all the way from first on a two-out double from Preston Tucker that got into the left field corner. Jose Altuve got the Astros started in the sixth, after a one out single, with a stolen base of second and he moved to third on an error by Yankee’s catcher John Ryan Murphy. After a Luis Valbuena strikeout, Evan Gattis hit an offspeed pitch off the end of the bat up the middle and into center for an RBI single to make it 3-0. Gattis would score Altuve again in the eighth inning with a one out double to give us the final tally of the ball game at 4-0.
Altuve led Houston offensively with three hits in four at-bats and two runs scored along with two stolen bases. Altuve recorded his 24th multi-hit ballgame of the season and became the first ML player this season to record a multi-double, multi-steal game.
Hinch said after the game that Altuve looked great after missing some games with injury, “Coming in and getting a couple of hits, seeing him fly around the bases, he’s playing with a bounce in his step again. We missed him when he was out and I think he missed playing. That kind of boost is certainly going to be nice in the middle of our order.”
The Yankees’ Adam Warren looked good for much of the outing but missed on some key pitches that the Astros hitters were able to take advantage of. Warren threw 5.2 innings and gave up three runs (two earned) on five hits and striking out four for New York. Warren has allowed three runs or less in each of his last nine starts which is tied for the MLB lead with Chris Archer.
WP: Dallas Keuchel (9-3)
LP: Adam Warren (5-5)
Also announced Thursday was the signing of 2015 number two overall pick, Alex Bregman from LSU. Bregman hit .323 with 22 doubles, nine home runs, 49 RBI, and 38 steals for the Tigers. He was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award given to the nation’s top collegiate player. Bregman is expected to start his career at Quad Cities, the Single-A affiliate of the club.
Houston Astros’ Director of Amateur Scouting Mike Elias spoke highly of Bregman, “He’s a skilled defensive shortstop who also impacts the game on offense, as he possesses the ability to hit for average, steal bases, and put up power numbers. He’s also a proven winner and has the makeup to be a leader for our club one day.”