Keuchel allows 1 run, leads Astros over Tigers 3-2
KISSIMMEE, Fla. (AP) Dallas Keuchel allowed one run over 5 2-3 innings in his final tuneup for opening day, leading the Houston Astros over the Detroit Tigers 3-2 Wednesday.
Keuchel gave up seven hits, struck out five and walked one. He starts against Cleveland on Monday.
''If we can play loose and have fun like we did this spring training, I think we're going to open up a lot of minds and make believers out of people,'' Keuchel said, challenging his young teammates to a higher set of expectations.
''The opportunity to establish yourself is closing,'' he said. ''What I mean by that is younger guys are going to have to step up and do their jobs, and not take turns seeing who's going to fill in and who's not. You've got to come in the door and win because we've got guys who have already established themselves. If we want to take that next step toward the playoffs, we're going to have to have guys come in and contribute right away.''
Keuchel established himself early last season, winning six of his first 10 starts before finishing 12-9 with a 2.93 ERA. He won a Gold Glove.
''I feel a little wiser, just about hitters in the league, and I feel more comfortable,'' he said. ''I think my stuff is the same. My slider is still good. I know what hitters are trying to do against me, and as long as I have an understanding of that, I think I'm going to be pretty well off.''
Evan Gattis, Chris Carter and Jake Marisnick drove in runs in the first against Kyle Ryan, who allowed three runs and four hits over two innings.
Marisnick had two doubles and a stolen base in the Astros' final exhibition game in Florida.
James McCann had two hits for the Tigers, including an RBI double.
Tigers: RHP Bruce Rondon, scheduled to pitch in consecutive games for the first time in spring training, was scratched from Wednesday's relief appearance, complaining of a sore shoulder. ''He needs to pitch back-to-back before we can assume that he's OK to pitch at the major league level,'' manager Brad Ausmus said.
Astros: LHP Brett Oberholtzer, limited by nagging injuries to 8 103 innings, went on the DL with a blister on his left index finger.
Tigers: Ryan, making his first start of spring training, threw 30 pitches. With injury questions surrounding starters and relievers, the Tigers have yet to determine whether the young left-hander will be in their bullpen or in the minors as a starter.
Astros: Keuchel threw 92 pitches and finished spring training with a 1-0 record and a 1.80 ERA..
Tigers Rookie RHP Angel Nesbitt will start against the Yankees in Lakeland and several Tigers may play the whole game.
Astros: RHP Roberto Hernandez will get his final spring training start in Corpus Christi, Texas, against the Astros' Double-A team.