Dallas Keuchel had a different catcher before throwing his first pitch for the Houston Astros on Tuesday night.
Everything worked out just fine with Tim Federowicz behind the plate with the former AL Cy Young Award winner throwing some of his best breaking pitches all season.
Keuchel struck out seven and allowed only two runs over seven scoreless innings http://www.officialflames.com/authentic-adidas-jaromir-jagr-jersey
, winning for only the second time in his last nine starts, as the Astros beat the Texas Rangers 5-3.
”Some of the shape it was taking early was really good. (Shin-Soo) Choo leading off the game, anytime you get him to swing and miss at a breaking pitch, it’s acting pretty good, and then (Nomar) Mazara struck out looking with a slider away,” Keuchel said. ”Both of those balls had good action and I knew from the then on if I could establish the fastball in to the lefties, it would be a good day.”
Josh Reddick and Tony Kemp homered for the Astros, who are 11-4 this season against their instate division rival, with seven consecutive road wins in the series. Houston is a majors-best 31-14 on the road this season.
Keuchel (5-8) struck out the first four batters he faced, and six of the first seven.
After catcher Brian McCann went on the disabled list and had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee earlier Tuesday, manager A.J. Hinch said Max Stassi would do the bulk of the catching. But Stassi got hit by a pitch batting in the first, and left the game with a bruised right (throwing) wrist before even taking the field on defense.
”I think we avoided a fracture, very good for us,” manager A.J. Hinch said. ”Got him pretty good in the wrist. Got a welt there, couldn’t flex his hand, hand so mobility.”
X-rays were negative and Stassi is considered day to day.
Keuchel had only thrown a few bullpens with Federowicz in spring training, and a live BP session Mike Adams Jersey
, before the catcher was called back from Triple-A Fresno earlier Tuesday.
”The way he handled the game not expecting to play, that was really impressive,” Keuchel said.
Choo later walked twice and had two singles to extend his career-best on-base streak to 43 games, the longest in the majors since Atlanta’s Freddie Freeman’s 46-gamer two years ago. Choo is three games shy of Julio Franco’s team record of 46 in a row set 25 years ago.
The Astros used three relievers to get through the eighth. Texas already had a run in before Hector Rondon took over against pinch-hitter Joey Gallo, who worked a 12-pitch at-bat into a two-out walk to load the bases before Robinson Chirinos struck out. Rondon then worked the ninth for his sixth save in eight chances.
Houston went ahead to stay in the first when Yuli Gurriel and Reddick had RBI doubles off Austin Bibens-Dirkx (1-2), who still managed to get through six innings. He struck out four, walked two and hit two batters.
”To get through six in that situation was huge for us,” manager Jeff Banister said. ”Early on it didn’t look that it was going to be the case, a situation where really didn’t have a whole lot of sink on the fastball. … For us to still have an opportunity there through those innings, it was big-time by him.”
Astros: SS Carlos Correa, out since June 26 with lower back soreness, has been working out daily in Houston. Hinch said it was uncertain if Correa will be ready to play Friday when eligible to come off the DL. He hadn’t gone through any baseball activities yet.
Rangers: RHP Tony Barnette left the game after a 2-1 pitch to Marwin Gonzalez in the eighth. The Rangers said he had a right shoulder strain and would be evaluated further Wednesday. … 1B Ronald Guzman had two hits and scored twice after being activated from the seven-day concussion DL.
The Astros have homered in 23 consecutive road games, a club record and four from matching the MLB record set by Oakland earlier this season. … Before Bibens-Dirkx plunked Stassi in the first inning, Rangers pitchers had gone 22 games without hitting a batter – the longest span for the team since 1998.
DOUBLE DOUBLED UP
Astros leadoff hitter George Springer was in a 3-for-46 slide before a single in the sixth. But he was also doubled off twice on hard lineouts.
Gerrit Cole (9-2) will pitch on regular rest for the Astros after they made a slight tweak in their rotation. Lance McCullers Jr., who was scheduled to start, was instead pushed back to Friday. Rangers lefty Mike Minor (6-4) took a perfect game into the seventh inning of his last start, a win last Wednesday over the San Diego Padres.
A look at what’s happening around the majors today:
Milwaukee reliever Josh Hader rejoins the team Authentic Jeremy Kerley Jersey
, three days after years-old racist and homophobic tweets of his resurfaced during the All-Star Game. The Brewers open the second half at Miller Park against the Dodgers.
The 24-year-old Hader has apologized for the tweets, saying they did not reflect his values or the person he is now. The commissioner’s office will require Hader to participate in diversity and inclusion initiatives and sensitivity training.
Hader spoke with Brewers teammate Lorenzo Cain after the All-Star Game in Washington. Cain, who is African-American, said he expects the club to accept Hader’s present-day statements and move on.
Manny Machado plays his first game for the Dodgers, filling a big gap at shortstop when the NL West leaders visit Milwaukee. Los Angeles traded five minor leaguers to Baltimore during the break for the four-time All-Star. The 26-year-old Machado was hitting .315 with 24 homers and 65 RBIs. Shortstop Corey Seager helped the Dodgers reach the World Series last year, but had Tommy John surgery in May.
Machado might need to work out another trade, too. His favorite No. 13 is worn by Dodgers bright spot Max Muncy. We’ll see if Machado can come up with a deal to get the jersey.
The Angels say two-way star Shohei Ohtani’s elbow ligament is continuing to heal and he has been medically cleared to begin a throwing progression. There’s no timetable when the Japanese sensation might pitch again for Los Angeles.
Ohtani was put on the disabled list with an ulnar collateral ligament sprain on June 8. He has since rejoined the Angels as a designated hitter. He is batting .283 with seven home runs and 22 RBIs. On the mound, Ohtani won four of his first five decisions before getting injured.
LENDING A HAND
All-Star closer Brad Hand joins the AL Central-leading Indians as they begin the second half in Texas. Cleveland got the lefty and rookie righty sidearmer Adam Cimber from the rebuilding Padres on Thursday for switch-hitting catching prospect Francisco Mejia. The Indians own the biggest division lead in the majors at 7 1/2 games over Minnesota, but want to a bolster a bullpen that’s been minus star lefty Andrew Miller since late May and has a 5.28 ERA, second-worst in the majors.
Reliever Santiago Casilla is available, a day after the Athletics released him. The right-hander turns 38 next week and was 0-0 with one save and a 3.16 ERA in 26 games. He’s has had control trouble, walking 20 in 31 1-3 innings. Casilla has 144 saves in a 15-year career spent entirely in the Bay Area with the A’s and Giants. He has plenty of postseason experience, posting a 0.92 ERA in 25 games and helping San Francisco win three World Series titles.
Mets star Noah Syndergaard pitches at Yankee Stadium for the first time when the Subway Series resumes in New York. Syndergaard has faced the Yankees just once, as a rookie in mid-September 2015, and he got off to a rough start – Jacoby Ellsbury and Brett Gardner led off that game with singles and Carlos Beltran followed with a home run in the Mets’ 5-0 loss.