Keuchel, Tucker lead Houston Astros past Cleveland Indians

The Sports Xchange

CLEVELAND -- On the day he was named to the American League All-Star team, left-hander Dallas Keuchel celebrated with a win that suggested he could start the All-Star Game.

Keuchel pitched six solid innings and Preston Tucker had four hits, including a home run, as the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 9-4 Monday night at Progressive Field.


Keuchel (11-3), who was told by manager A.J. Hinch prior to the game that he had been selected to the AL All-Star team, struck out eight and walked one while giving up three runs in six innings. Keuchel is the first 11-game winner in the American League, and he is the first Astros pitcher to win 10 or more games prior to the All-Star break since Roy Oswalt went 12-7 in the first half of 2012.

"It's very well deserved," said Hinch of Keuchel's All-Star selection. "I don't think anyone in the league has been better. He's been at the center of all we've done."

Asked if he thought Keuchel should start the All-Star game, Hinch said, "I think he's stating his own case."


Right fielder Tucker led a 16-hit Houston attack with two singles, a double, a home run and two RBIs.

"We swung the bats extremely well. We got big nights from multiple guys," said Hinch.

With the loss, the Indians are 15-24 at Progressive Field, the worst home record in the American League.

Cleveland right-hander Carlos Carrasco (10-7), who came within one out of pitching a no-hitter in his last start July 1 in Tampa Bay, only lasted four innings in this one.

Leading 5-2, Houston separated itself from Cleveland with a three-run sixth inning against the Indians' bullpen. RBI singles by Tucker, second baseman Jose Altuve and left fielder Colby Rasmus extended the Astros lead to 8-2.

In the bottom of the sixth Indians catcher Yan Gomes doubled and scored on a two-out single by right fielder Brandon Moss to make it 8-3. But a home run by shortstop Marwin Gonzalez leading off the seventh inning against right-hander Jeff Manship extended the Houston lead to 9-3.

Left-hander Joe Thatcher relieved Keuchel to start the seventh inning, and Thatcher was charged with a run, which scored on a sacrifice fly by pinch hitter David Murphy


Carrasco gave up five runs on 10 hits in his four innings.

"He didn't have his best stuff, but there are going to be days when you don't have your best stuff and have to find a way," said Indians manager Terry Francona.

The Astros sent eight men to the plate in the first inning while taking a 4-0 lead. The first five batters Carrasco faced all reached base. With Tucker at second base and shortstop Carlos Correa at first, designated hitter Evan Gattis lined a single to center field, scoring Tucker with the first run of the game.

Rasmus bounced a double off the wall in center field, scoring Correa and sending Gattis to third. Gattis scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman Chris Carter, and a two-out single by Gonzalez drove in Rasmus, giving Houston a 4-0 lead.

"They just had so many hits. You could see right from the first inning it was going to be a struggle (for Carrasco)," said Francona.

Cleveland got a run back in the third inning when third baseman Giovanny Urshela doubled, went to third on a single by left fielder Mike Aviles and scored on a sacrifice fly by second baseman Jason Kipnis, cutting the Astros' lead to 4-1.


That run snapped a streak of 19 consecutive scoreless innings by Keuchel, who said he hadn't given much thought about his chances of being selected to the All-Star team.

"It's not something I expected, not something I've dwelled on, but it's a great honor," he said. "I'd like to start the game, but there are guys out there with nastier stuff than I have."

Houston got that run back in the top of the fourth inning when Tucker belted his fifth home run into the seats in right field to make it 5-1.

An RBI triple by Indians right fielder Brandon Moss in the bottom of the fourth made it 5-2.

NOTES: Cleveland 2B Jason Kipnis was selected to the AL All-Star team for the second time in the past three years. Kipnis will be the Indians' only representative. ... Houston LHP Dallas Keuchel also was selected to the All-Star team. He is a strong candidate to start for the American League on July 14 in Cincinnati. Astros 2B Jose Altuve was selected as a starter for the game in the fan voting. ... Astros RHP Chad Qualls (pinched nerve in neck) is expected to begin a rehab assignment with Double-A Corpus Christi on Tuesday. Qualls has been on the disabled list since June 25.


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