Houston (CBS Houston) – The Astros red hot run came to an end at the hands of in-state rival the Texas Rangers as a 2-1 victory snaps the 10-game Houston winning streak.
Dallas Keuchel started strong for the Astros and it looked to be a continuation of his recent success. On the same day he was named American League Pitcher of the Month for April Keuchel struck out the side in the second and third innings. He was cruising until the Rangers gave him some trouble in the eighth.
The Rangers would manufacture a run as Jake Smolinski drove in Delino DeShields with a hit to center field. DeShields had stolen second where Smolinski’s single drove him in. He would pitch out of the jam to send the game into the home half of the eighth tied.
Dallas Keuchel wasn’t impressed with his outing.
“Tight pitcher’s duel and I just didn’t do enough,” he said. “In a game like that you’ve got to do more and I didn’t really come through.”
Astros Manager A.J. Hinch disagreed with his ace saying he “pitched well enough to win.”
The Astros early run came in the bottom of the first as a double steal by Jose Altuve and George Springer put them on second and third. Altuve would cross the plate on an Evan Gattis sacrafice fly. It was the fifth straight game with at least one RBI for Gattis and his 11th in the past five games.
Adrian Beltre would lead off the Rangers ninth against new Astros pitcher Chad Qualls. Kyle Blanks would single through the left side to set up runners on first and third with no outs. Qualls would bounce back to strikeout pinch hitter Rougned Odor. The next pitch to Robinson Chirinos would get lifted to centerfield where an off-target Jake Marisnick throw allowed the tagging-up Beltre to score.
Rangers closer Neftali Feliz would strikeout George Springer to begin the bottom of the ninth. Evan Gattis would follow with a groundout. Chris Carter would work a 2-2 count before striking out on a check swing.
The winning streak was fun while it lasted but Hinch is already worried about the next one.
“I get that we won a lot in a row,” Hinch said, “I’m happy for our team. We played well…I’d like to start another win streak and win tomorrow.”
Chad Qualls, who took the loss after allowing the go-ahead run in the ninth, knows it isn’t easy to snag a victory every night.
“I was getting used to giving everybody knuckles and high-fives over there and whatnot, but we can’t win ’em all. We try to.
“We’ve been playing good, there’s no need to hang our heads.”
The mood isn’t going to be an issue come tomorrow’s contest according to Hinch.
“I think this team has a really good vibe around it right now,” he said.
The Astros will try to restart their streak tomorrow. Tomorrow’s probable pitchers match a pair of players pitching against their former team. Former Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez goes against former Rangers starter Scott Feldman.
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