Keuchel's solid start helps Astros over Mariners 8-3
HOUSTON (AP) On the night when Houston Astros ace Dallas Keuchel became the American League's first 16-game winner, rookie Carlos Correa hit his 16th home run.
After an 8-3 win over the Seattle Mariners on Monday night, Correa was asked if he thought Keuchel would get to 20 wins before he reached 20 home runs.
''For him to get four more wins in (a) month is going to be tough,'' Correa said. ''But I would love for him to get there first because that means we're winning ball games. A homer doesn't mean you're going to win the ball game. So if he gets those wins it would be awesome.''
Keuchel allowed one run and struck out eight in seven innings, and Correa hit a two-run homer in his return after missing four games with a hamstring injury to help the AL West-leading Astros.
Manager A.J. Hinch was relieved to see Correa back on the field.
''He's a big presence for us; obviously he came up big,'' Hinch said. ''He's very much in the middle of everything that we do.''
Jed Lowrie and Hank Conger added solo shots for Houston.
Keuchel (16-6), who gave up six hits, improved to 12-0 at home this season and has won 13 straight decisions in Houston dating back to last year to tie a franchise record set by Danny Darwin in 1989-90
Lowrie and Conger homered in the fourth to put Houston up 3-1, before Correa's shot broke it open in the fifth.
Vidal Nuno (0-3) yielded seven hits, five runs and tied a career high with three homers in six innings. He was filling in for ace Felix Hernandez, whose start was skipped to give him a break. He'll pitch on Saturday in Oakland.
''I thought he threw the ball, for the most part, pretty good,'' manager Lloyd McClendon said. ''He made a mistake pitch to (Lowrie) that kind of put the game out of reach for us at that point, but he pitched well enough that, if we could have capitalized on some opportunities, to win a ballgame.''
Mark Trumbo homered twice for the Mariners, who went 2 for 9 with runners in scoring position.
The Astros took a 1-0 lead on a sacrifice fly by Evan Gattis in the first inning.
The Mariners first hit came on Trumbo's homer with two outs in the second to tie it at 1-1. It was the first homer Keuchel has allowed at home this season and the first in Houston since one by Adrian Beltre on Aug. 10, 2014.
Seattle loaded the bases with no outs in the fourth. The Mariners came away empty-handed when Franklin Gutierrez grounded into a double play before Trumbo struck out.
Lowrie, who also doubled, snapped a 0-for-28 skid with his solo homer that put Houston up 2-1 in the fourth. It was his first hit since Aug. 19. Conger connected on a fastball with two outs in the inning, sending it to the train tracks atop the left field wall for a 3-1 lead.
Altuve singled with no outs in the bottom of the fifth before Correa's homer bounced high off the wall in left-center to make it 5-1.
Gattis, Carlos Gomez and Lowrie each drove in a run in the seventh inning.
Robinson Cano grounded out to start the game, snapping a streak of reaching base safely in eight consecutive plate appearances.
Trumbo added a two-run homer in the ninth inning.
HERE KITTY KITTY
There was a bit of commotion in the bottom of the sixth inning when a kitten ran by the Mariners dugout and scurried around the dirt down the left field line. The feline never ventured too close to the diamond though. Seattle reliever Edgar Olmos was entertained by the incident.
''I have no idea where it came from,'' he said. ''I just saw it run in front of the dugout during the game and then it ran into the stands. It was a little golden kitten. And then it ran up into the stands, and I'm not sure if anyone grabbed it or not.''
Mariners: Ketel Marte returned after sitting out Sunday with a right hamstring injury. He wasn't originally in the lineup on Monday, but was inserted after Austin Jackson was traded to the Cubs before the game.
Astros: OF George Springer (broken right wrist) played the second game of a rehabilitation assignment at Double-A Corpus Christi on Monday. The Astros haven't said how many games he'll need before he's ready to return to Houston. Springer hasn't played since July 1 when he was plunked in the wrist.
Houston's Scott Feldman opposes Roenis Elias when the series continues on Tuesday. Feldman threw eight scoreless innings in his last start and led the AL with a 1.33 ERA in August.