Astros All-Star Keuchel stops Indians 9-4
CLEVELAND (AP) Dallas Keuchel was keeping a secret.
Keuchel, no secret in baseball circles, found out Monday afternoon he had been chosen for the American League All-Star team. He then allowed three runs in six innings in Houston's 9-4 win over the Cleveland Indians.
The left-hander (11-3), who leads the league in wins and is second with a 2.14 ERA, is a strong candidate to start next Tuesday's game in Cincinnati.
Keuchel was relaxing in his hotel room when got the news in a phone call from Astros manager A.J. Hinch. He had to keep it to himself because the formal announcement wasn't being made until Monday night.
''Everybody in my family has loose lips,'' he said. ''It's not something I put out there. I was instructed not to. I didn't want it to leak out and get myself in trouble.''
Keuchel, who allowed nine hits and struck out eight, admitted he wasn't at his best, but his offense picked him up.
An anticipated pitching duel between Keuchel and Carlos Carrasco never materialized. Carrasco, who came within one out of a no-hitter against Tampa Bay on Wednesday, allowed five runs in four innings. The right-hander (10-7) gave up four runs in the first and Preston Tucker's solo homer in the fourth.
''I was struggling the whole night,'' Keuchel said. ''I wasn't expecting four runs off Carrasco. That was nice to see, but I had to grind it out.''
Tucker had a career-high four hits and added an RBI single. Jose Altuve, Houston's All-Star second baseman, matched his career-high 14-game hitting streak with two hits, including an RBI double. Marwin Gonzalez homered and drove in two runs, while Colby Rasmus also had two RBIs.
Jason Kipnis, selected to the All-Star team as a reserve at second base, was 1 for 3 with a sacrifice fly for Cleveland and extended his home hitting streak to 29 games.
Cleveland scored in the third, breaking Keuchel's scoreless innings string at 19. He's 3-0 with a 1.86 ERA in four career starts versus Cleveland.
Hinch would like to see Keuchel start the All-Star Game and has expressed his opinion to AL manager Ned Yost.
''I think Dallas is stating his own case, I'm not sure he needs my help,'' Hinch said. ''Multiple guys have the qualifications. I just don't know if anyone's been better.''
Keuchel won't argue with his manager.
''I'd like to, but it's nothing I'm going to fret over,'' Keuchel said. ''There are plenty of deserving candidates. There are guys a lot more nasty than I am. I'm just happy to be at the game.''
Carrasco had last week's no-hit bid broken up with two outs in the ninth on Joey Butler's single. There was no drama this time. Altuve led off the game with an infield hit to deep shortstop.
Evan Gattis put Houston ahead with an RBI single. Rasmus' ground-rule double bounced over the center field wall for a 2-0 lead. Chris Carter's sacrifice fly and Gonzalez's RBI single added the other runs.
Carrasco allowed five hits and threw 39 pitches in the inning.
Carrasco, who had a perfect game through 7 1-3 innings and struck out a career-high 13 against the Rays, gave up 10 hits and struck out five.
''He went away from the things that make him good,'' manager Terry Francona said. ''You could see it was a struggle right in the first. There are days you aren't going to feel your best, but you've got to find a way.''
HAIL TO THE ALL-STAR
Hinch said he told Houston's players following the game that Keuchel made the All-Star team.
''I'm sure guys saw it during the game, but we had a nice little toast for Dallas,'' Hinch said. ''The team was very excited for Dallas.''
Astros: 3B Luis Valbuena, who leads the team with 19 homers, missed the game with a sprained big left toe.
Astros: RHP Vince Velasquez has no-decisions in each of his first five big league starts, tying the record shared by RHP Hideo Nomo (1995), RHP Marc Valdez (1995-1996) and RHP Chris Brock (1997).
Indians: RHP Corey Kluber looks for his first win since May 28. The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner went 7 1-3 innings in a 2-0 loss at Houston on opening day.