Keuchel hopes for another gem in rubber match with Rangers

(Sports Network) – Dallas Keuchel hopes to follow up a brilliant effort from
Opening Day and pitch the Houston Astros to a series win on Sunday against the
Texas Rangers.

Keuchel was able to outduel the American League’s reigning Cy Young Award
winner Corey Kluber on Monday, as he fired seven scoreless innings against the
Cleveland Indians to get the win.

The 27-year-old lefty has now surrendered two earned runs or less in each of
his last six starts and has given up three runs or fewer in 11 of his last 12.
His 2.18 ERA since July 25 also ranks in the top 10 among AL starters who have
made at least 10 starts over that span.

“That guy is good, man,” Cleveland catcher Yan Gomes said after that game.
“I’ve faced him since college, and in the minor leagues. That guy can keep you
off-balance. He moves the ball in and out. He’s a very good pitcher.”

Keuchel has faced the Rangers nine times and is 2-3 against them with a 4.12

Texas, meanwhile, will turn to righty Colby Lewis, who was also impressive in
his first start. Lewis defeated Oakland on Tuesday, as he limited them to a
run and three hits in six innings.

“He was amazing,” catcher Carlos Corporan said. “He was spotting every pitch,
using his slider early and then changing to his curve later. He was a
different pitcher every inning. All of his pitches were working.”

Lewis is 5-1 lifetime versus the Astros with a 1.54 ERA in 10 games (7

Texas evened this three-game series at a game apiece on Saturday, as Elvis
Andrus drove in a pair of runs to help the Rangers to a 6-2 win. Carlos
Peguero had a pair of hits while driving in a run and scoring once and Rougned
Odor also had an RBI and a run scored for the Rangers, who had dropped the
opener of this set.

Yovani Gallardo (1-1) gave up two runs on eight hits with a walk and seven
strikeouts in 5 2/3 innings of work.

“Overall I think my command was good for the whole game,” Gallardo said.

Marwin Gonzalez hit a solo home run and Jose Altuve drove in the other run for
the Astros, who have lost three of their last four. Roberto Hernandez (0-1)
allowed five runs — one earned — and five hits with four walks and two
strikeouts over 4 2/3 frames.

“Early in the season you want to get off to a hot start and put added pressure
on yourself, but I don’t think there’s anything to be worried about. I think
it’s going to be fun to watch here soon,” Houston outfielder Jake Marisnick

In what is known as the Lone Star Series, the Astros went 11-8 against the
Rangers last year to reclaim the Silver Boot. Houston had won just two of 19
meetings in 2013, the first year the two teams were both in the American
League West.