Dallas Keuchel tossed six rain-delayed shutout innings Friday night and got three-run support each from Carlos Correa and George Springer to silence the Rangers at Global Warming Park, 7-1, for Houston's eighth consecutive win while running his own personal record to 9-0.
WOO: Springer greeted after HR
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Keuchel traded zeroes with Houston nemesis Yu Darvish for the first four innings in the muggy air after a two-hour-plus rain delay. Josh Reddick punched a seemingly harmless two-out single in the fifth but then Jose Altuve cracked a double into the left center alley and Correa, who was named the AL Player of the Month for May, lofted a drive over the inner fence in left center for a three-run homer that broke the ice. It was Correa's 10th blast of the season.
By whatever name, the Broilpark has not been kind to Keuchel since his big league debut there in 2012. Despite allowing just one hit (a double by Astro-killer Adrian Beltre) over five innings, there was concern when the Rangers loaded the bases in the sixth. Keuchel, however, coaxed a grounder from Rougned Odor to squelch the threat.
Yuli Gurriel expanded the lead with an RBI double in the eighth off Dillon Gee then Springer put the game out of reach with his 14th homer, a three-run jack to a fan's glove on the soggy grass incline beyond the center field wall for a 7-0 advantage.
Chris Devenski and Will Harris pitched scoreless relief frames for Houston before Ken Giles lost the shutout, giving up a solo homer to Beltre in the ninth - his 23rd against the Astros in his career.
Lance McCullers (6-1), who won the AL Pitcher of the Month Award for May, makes his first start of June on Saturday when he challenges Andrew Cashner (2-4) in a 6:15 Central contest. Houston is now 4-1 versus the Rangers this year after winning just four of 19 last season in the series.
- Bob Hulsey