Keuchel outduels Kluber as Astros blank Indians

Houston, TX ( – Dallas Keuchel tossed seven scoreless
innings to guide the Houston Astros to a 2-0 win over the Cleveland Indians in
the season opener for both teams.

Keuchel (1-0), who finished seventh in the American League last season with a
2.93 ERA, allowed three hits and three walks and kept Cleveland off the
scoreboard to earn the win in his first career Opening-Day start.

“The city of Houston has waited a long time for a winner,” Keuchel said. “I
think we are on the right track.”

He outdueled reigning Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber (0-1), who took a no-
hitter into the sixth inning before Jose Altuve broke it up with his single
to center. Altuve, who swiped 56 bags last season, stole second and scored the
game’s first run when George Springer ripped a single into left.

Springer was caught between first and second base after Altuve scored and
tagged out, but the damage was done.

Cleveland threatened in the top of the seventh, when Carlos Santana and Yan
Gomes hit consecutive singles with no outs. Keuchel settled down and struck
out Brandon Moss for the first out, then flashed the leather in recording the
next two.

Keuchel, who took home a gold glove last season, chased down a short Ryan
Raburn hit and fired to first for the second out. With runners on second and
third, he got Lonnie Chisenhall to ground back to him as well to end the

Tony Sipp relieved Keuchel and struck out two in a clean eighth. Then Jake
Marisnick added an insurance run in the home eighth with a sacrifice fly.

Newly acquired Luke Gregerson, who spent last season with the Athletics after
five years in San Diego, came on for the ninth and retired the side in
six pitches to earn the save.

Kluber, who inked a five-year, $38.5 million contract extension on Sunday, was
sharp as well despite taking the loss. The hard-throwing righty was charged
with both runs on just three hits with seven strikeouts over 7 1/3 innings.

“It’s fun to have a little battle,” said Kluber. “There’s a premium on every
pitch, so that’s why it’s a little more fun.”

Game Notes

Both teams had three hits … Cleveland’s top three hitters went a combined 0-
for-12 … The Astros have won three straight on opening day for the first
time since 1999-2001 … Keuchel became the sixth consecutive different
opening-day starter for the Astros … Cleveland went 0-for-4 with runners in
scoring position.