Keuchel solid, Gurriel debuts and Astros beat Orioles 5-3
BALTIMORE (AP) Dallas Keuchel gave the Houston Astros the kind of performance they expect each time the left-hander takes the mound.
While the reigning AL Cy Young Award winner has struggled through parts of the season, the confidence of his manager and teammates never wavered. Now, Keuchel might be coming around at the perfect time for his team.
Keuchel was solid through eight innings, Yulieski Gurriel got a hit in his major league debut and the Astros beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3 in a rain-delayed victory Sunday.
The Astros won the last three games in the four-game series, outscoring Baltimore 32-13 over that stretch. The slumping Orioles have lost four of five and are 9-16 over their past 25 games.
''Best fastball command I have had all year,'' Keuchel said. ''That really jump-started a lot of things for me. We have to play our game and not try to do too much. Any time you win a series in the big leagues is big.''
Keuchel (8-12) allowed two runs and five hits with seven strikeouts. Ken Giles picked up his third save despite allowing Mark Trumbo to hit his major league-leading 37th home run.
The start of the game was delayed for 4 hours, 5 minutes because of storms. Another downpour at the end of the first inning prompted an additional 30-minute interruption.
''I'm absolutely thrilled to leave her winning three out of four on one of the toughest days to play in awhile,'' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. ''We were here all day. The conditions weren't the easiest to play in both mentally and physically. We stepped up and answered the challenge.''
Gurriel, a Cuban defector who signed a $47.5 million, five-year deal in July, singled in his first at-bat and went 1 for 2 with a walk as the designated hitter. He left the game in the eighth with right hamstring tightness and is day-to-day.
''I wasn't sure I was going to get my first hit that fast,'' Gurriel said. ''I will take care of (the ball) and put it away and put in a place that is very special.''
Carlos Correa went 2 for 3 with two RBIs.
After missing the past two games with a groin issue, Jake Marisnick entered in the seventh, and his home run an inning later gave the Astros a 5-2 lead.
Jonathan Schoop got his 19th homer for the Orioles, who trail first-place Toronto by 2 1/2 games in the AL East.
''We know we can score a lot of runs,'' Schoop said. ''But it's baseball, sometimes you score and sometimes you don't score.''
Houston took a 1-0 lead in the fourth on a two-out RBI single by A.J. Reed. Schoop tied it later in the inning with his solo shot.
Houston put together a three-run fifth on an RBI single by Jose Altuve and a two-run double by Correa. Baltimore pulled within 4-2 later that inning when Nolan Reimold doubled and scored on a single by Adam Jones.
Baltimore's Yovani Gallardo (4-5) allowed four runs and seven hits over a season-tying high seven innings. Houston won the season series over Baltimore 6-1.
''We have to worry about our job, go out there and give our team the chance to win and just come together like we were doing throughout the year,'' Gallardo said.
SPRING IN HIS STEP
The Astros' George Springer has reached base safely in 14 straight games. He is batting .357 over that span.
Orioles: RHP Chris Tillman, who had his start pushed back three days because of shoulder soreness, said he felt fine after Saturday's game when he allowed six runs, six hits and five walks in two-plus innings.
The Orioles recalled RHP Parker Bridwell from Triple-A Norfolk. He made his major league debut in the eighth inning and allowed the homer to Marisnick. Bridwell replaced RHP Odrisamer Despaigne, who was optioned to the Tides after allowing four runs in three innings Saturday.
Astros: Doug Fister (11-8, 3.76 ERA) starts the series opener Monday in Pittsburgh. Fister is 1-2 with a 2.08 ERA in five career starts against the Pirates.
Orioles: Dylan Bundy (6-4, 3.36) has won three of his past four starts and gets his first start in the Beltway Series against the Washington Nationals in the opener Monday.