Keuchel, Rasmus power Astros to 6th straight win, 7-2
SAN DIEGO (AP) The Houston Astros capped a great road trip with another big win against the slumping San Diego Padres.
Dallas Keuchel held San Diego to three hits in eight innings and Colby Rasmus hit a two-run homer to power the Astros to their sixth straight win, 7-2 Wednesday.
The AL West-leading Astros swept the Padres for the first time since May 8-10, 2009. First-year manager A.J. Hinch had worked in San Diego's front office from September 2010 until just after A.J. Preller was hired as general manager in early August.
Houston outscored San Diego 30-9 and outhit the Padres 36-19.
The Astros head home after an 8-1 West Coast trip gave them the best road record in the majors, 10-2.
''It's time to go home, but what a great trip,'' Hinch said. ''Good baseball, good adjustments on the fly, a lot of winning baseball, which is all you can ask for. I'm proud of these guys for the way they're playing.''
Despite having one of the best records in the majors, the Astros still have room to grow, Keuchel said.
''We weren't even playing, I don't think, that good of ball,'' he said. ''We have a lot of potential. It's nice to see the guys in the lineup just roll it over. The potential we have is pretty good. That being said, some of the guys haven't even hit their peaks. It's just fun to be a part of right now, especially with the way some of those guys are running the bases out there and setting us up for some runs.''
The Padres have lost seven of eight, including five of six on this homestand.
''They outpitched us, they outhit us and they outplayed us for these three games, straight forward,'' manager Bud Black said.
''We've had a tough week. We have to play a little better than we have these last few games.''
The Astros have won each of the last 10 games started by Keuchel, tying the team record held by Roger Clemens, Donne Wall, Nolan Ryan and Joe Niekro.
Keuchel (3-0) allowed two hits in the first, when Wil Myers hit a leadoff single and scored on Matt Kemp's one-out double to right. The left-hander then retired 23 of his final 24 batters, including 14 straight from the first inning until pitcher Andrew Cashner singled to right leading off the sixth.
Keuchel's ERA rose from 0.62 to 0.73. Three of his first four starts were scoreless. He's allowed runs in only two of his 37 innings this year. He struck out four and walked none
Hinch said Keuchel adjusted after the first inning and started backing the Padres off the plate.
''They had a good plan, going the opposite way,'' Keuchel said. ''I felt like I had to make an adjustment after the first, but that was all them. That was good hitting by Kemp and Myers. Kemp put a good swing on that ball. I didn't think it was in the zone.
''After that it was a lot of cutters and front-door, two-seams to the righties. That kept them off-balance and I was able to go back outside on spots.''
Jose Altuve extended his hitting streak to eight games during which he's driven in 11 runs. He hit a sacrifice fly in the third, beat out an infield single in the fifth and hit an RBI double in the four-run ninth.
Rasmus homered several rows deep into the seats in right with one out in the fourth to give Houston a 3-1 lead. He also homered Monday night.
San Diego pitchers have allowed 12 home runs the last five games, all at spacious Petco Park.
Cashner (1-4) struck out a season-high 10 in seven innings, including the first six batters of the game to set a team record. He allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits, and walked one.
Cashner set a big league record with his 21st straight home start in which he allowed two or fewer earned runs. He passed Orel Hershiser of the Los Angeles Dodgers (April 26, 1985-April 29, 1989) and Jose Fernandez of Miami (April 13, 2013-May 4, 2014), who each had 20 in a row.
Padres: C Derek Norris didn't start after taking a foul ball off his right ankle Tuesday night. The Padres are off Thursday, which will give him an additional day of rest. Norris grounded out as a pinch-hitter in the eighth.
Astros: Houston returns home to open a four-game series against Seattle on Thursday, when RHP Scott Feldman (2-2, 4.81) is scheduled to start against LHP James Paxton (0-2, 6.86).
Padres: San Diego is off Thursday before opening a three-game series against the Colorado Rockies on Friday, when Ian Kennedy (0-1, 10.80) is scheduled to start against Eddie Butler (2-1, 3.27).