Keuchel: 'Something wasn't clicking from the first inning'
Up until the last week, the Astros had been playing good baseball. On Monday at Minute Maid Park, the Tampa Bay Rays outplayed the home team in all facets of the game, beating the Astros 12-0. In their previous series against the Angels, the Astros were swept in three games.
Ryan Roberts hit two home runs for the Rays, who had17 hits and have won three straight games.
Dallas Keuchel had escaped a bases-loaded situation in the first inning unscathed. But in the third inning the Rays scored three runs, including Roberts’ first home run, to take command of the game.
Keuchel (4-5) had his last turn in the rotation skipped, and he didn’t seem sharp on Monday, walking five batters in the first five innings. Keuchel was pulled with two outs in the fifth and the Astros trailing 5-0, having thrown 108 pitches, 71 for strikes, In 4 2/3 inning Keuchel allowed eight hits, five runs, walked five and struck out four. Keuchel escaped a bases-loaded situation in the first by striking out James Loney for the third out.
Walks have been a problem for Matt Moore (11-3), who had six walks in his previous start. Moore was brilliant on Monday in his seven innings, giving up no runs and two hits. The left-hander walked only three and had nine strikeouts.
Paul Clemens retired the side in the sixth inning. The seventh inning was much different. In two innings, Clemens gave up four runs and five hits with three strikeouts and no walks. In his one inning, Hector Ambriz allowed three runs and four hits with two walks.
AT THE PLATE
Take your pick on the stars for the Rays. Roberts hit two homers and Sean Rodriguez had a career-high four hits. The bottom third of the Rays lineup of Roberts, Jose Lobaton and Sam Fuld gave Houston problems, combining for nine hits, six RBIs and six runs.
Through seven innings off Moore, the Astros managed only two hits – singles from Jake Elmore and Chris Carter.
IN THE FIELD
On the first ball hit to him, for the first out in the second inning, shortstop Jake Elmore made a strong, confident throw to first base. Elmore had three throwing errors over the previous two games vs. the Angels.
Tuesday is the second of a four-game series with Tampa Bay. On Tuesday, Houston’s Erik Bedard (3-3, 4.44 ERA) opposes David Price (1-4, 5.24 ERA). RHP Bud Norris (5-7, 3.35 ERA) goes for Houston on Wednesday vs. RHP Roberto Hernandez (4-9, 4.98 ERA). For Thursday’s 1:10 p.m. game, RHP Jordan Lyles (4-3, 3.99 ERA) starts for Houston vs. Tampa Bay RHP Chris Archer (2-3, 4.40 ERA).
Price, last year’s AL Cy Young winner, has been on the 15-day disabled list for 46 days with a triceps strain that he suffered on May 15 vs. Boston.
Bedard picked up a win in his last outing, allowing three runs in six innings in beating St. Louis.