Tuesday, May 20, 2014
ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Dallas Keuchel came within one out of his second consecutive shutout and the Houston Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 5-2 Monday night for their first three-game winning streak of the season.
Jason Castro and Matt Dominguez drove in runs during a three-run first inning for the Astros, who knocked around Garrett Richards (4-1) for 10 hits in the opener of a 10-game road trip.
Keuchel (5-2) followed up his first career shutout with another gem, yielding five hits and striking out eight. He didn't allow a runner past second base until the ninth, when manager Bo Porter pulled him after two-out infield singles by Mike Trout and Albert Pujols.
Howie Kendrick followed with a two-run triple off Josh Zeid, who got C.J. Cron on a grounder to end the Angels' third loss in 11 games.
Dexter Fowler and Chris Carter also drove in runs for the Astros (17-28), who still have the AL's worst record despite six wins in their last eight games.
Keuchel baffled the Angels, whose only hits in the first seven innings were back-to-back singles by Pujols and Kendrick in the fourth. Keuchel retired Los Angeles' next 10 batters until Grant Green led off the eighth with an infield single.
Keuchel improved to 5-1 in his last eight starts. He has yielded four runs, 18 hits and one walk over 25 1-3 innings in three straight dominant outings.
Houston's bats also are improving just in time for a three-game series at Angel Stadium, where the Astros have won seven of their last eight. The Astros have at least nine hits in nine straight games for the first time since June 2007.
Richards yielded a season-high 10 hits and five runs over seven innings, leaving him with just two wins in his last seven starts.
Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to 11 games with a leadoff double in the first. He advanced to third on Richards' major league-leading 10th wild pitch and then scored when Richards comically lobbed a pickoff attempt into left-field foul territory.
Castro and Dominguez followed with run-scoring singles. Fowler drove in another run with a two-out single in the second, but cost the Astros a second run when he was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double while George Springer was running home from first.
Castro doubled and scored on Carter's single in the third. Richards retired the next seven Houston batters and finished strong.
NOTES: Fowler drew a walk in his career-best ninth consecutive game, the first Houston player to accomplish that feat since Morgan Ensberg in 2006. ... Angels LHP Hector Santiago, who lost his job in the rotation and hadn't pitched in eight days, retired all six batters he faced in relief. ... Opening-day starters Kole Calhoun and David Freese both had extra-base hits during rehab assignments with Triple-A Salt Lake on Monday night. Both are expected back in the majors soon. OF Josh Hamilton, also closing in on an injury return, took batting practice at Angel Stadium before the game.