After their last two games in Toronto, this was not something I was expecting on getaway day.
The Astros have been struggling in every facet of their game, but Dallas Keuchel took care of that tonight. Well Keuchel and some power. Aside from Scott Feldman‘s starts, you could make the argument that Keuchel’s seven innings of one run ball was the best start of the season.
Well at at least in early in the young season, you could say it was the most timely as the Astros ended a four game losing streak in their 6-4 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays to improve to 4-6 on the season.
Until the ninth inning, this truly was a drama free game. Keuchel cruised right along giving up just five hits and two walks while also striking out six Blue Jays for the record. For someone who I wasn’t expecting to make the starting rotation out of Spring Training, that is a pretty start as he brought his ERA down to 3.75 on the season.
The game was scoreless until the fifth inning. Marc Krauss who has begun to rebound from his early season struggles lead the inning off with a booming double to center field. After a Matt Dominguez ground out, Robbie Grossman connected for a two run shot to put the Astros on the board.
Grossman is another player the Astros are counting this season who has struggled. Following tonight’s game, his average sits at just .088 after he went 1-2 with two walks. Perhaps the move down in the batting order has helped him.
Keuchel then gave a run back on a Colby Rasmus home run in the bottom of the inning.
Houston struck again in the seventh inning off knuckleballer R.A. Dickey. A Grossman walk followed a double by Dominguez to set the stage for Jonathan Villar. Villar promptly came through with a three run home run to extend the lead to 5-1. Jason Castro added a home run the following inning to close out the scoring for the Astros.
Chad Qualls pitched a scoreless eighth inning and then Josh Fields ran into some ninth inning trouble. Fields gave up two hits and a walk in .2 innings and ultimately had to be bailed out by Anthony Bass who picked up the save. Personally I would have given Fields one more batter to work out of trouble, but Bo Porter wanted to secure the win, which he did.
It is a quick turnaround as the Astros head to Arlington to take on Yu Darvish and the Texas Rangers Friday night, but at least it will be a happy plane ride.