ASTROS 8, ATHLETICS 1
HOUSTON -- In at least one category, Dallas Keuchel (Arkansas Razorbacks) is Clayton Kershaw's equal. For at least one three-game series, Houston was better than Oakland.
Keuchel pitched a four-hitter and Robbie Grossman homered to cap a six-run first inning that sent the Astros past the Athletics 8-1 Wednesday.
Keuchel (10-7) pitched his fourth complete game of the season, tying Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the major league lead. And the Astros, 20 games under .500, won the series from the AL West-leading Athletics.
"(The A's) do a lot of things well," Keuchel said. "To get a complete game and get a win is something special in its own right."
Marc Krauss beat out Oakland's try for a double play in the first, and the Astros went on to match a season high for runs in an inning.
Keuchel struck out five and walked three.
Manager Bo Porter lauded Keuchel's "plus-command" and willingness to use his secondary pitches. As he mixed his pitches up, Kuechel kept the A's guessing and forcing the type of contact that can make for a good day.
Josh Donaldson hit his 23rd home run for Oakland's only run.
Jason Hammel (0-4) remained winless in four starts since the A's acquired him with pitcher Jeff Samardzija from the Cubs earlier this month. Hammel was 8-5 before the trade.
Krauss hustled for an RBI grounder that kept the first inning going. After Jonathan Singleton walked, Matt Dominguez singled home a run, and another scored when center fielder Billy Burns bobbled the ball.
"I'll tell you, I think the biggest play of the game was Jason Castro going hard into second base and Marc Krauss absolutely giving the effort in which he gave getting down the line," Porter said. "That's the way the game is supposed to be played. To both of those guys' credit, they did a tremendous job in that situation."
Carlos Corporan added an RBI single and Grossman, a late addition for the ill Chris Carter, homered into the right-field seats.
Hammel's day ended in the fifth when Singleton hit his eighth home run.
"He had trouble getting the ball down again and in the next couple of innings when he got the ball down he was effective," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "That's where the movement takes over, the downhill plane and everything that makes him successful. And he had a tough time finishing guys off when he was ahead."
ORIOLES 4, ANGELS 3 Kevin Gausman pitched seven innings of three-hit ball, Adam Jones homered and host Baltimore beat Los Angeles for its seventh victory in nine games.
INDIANS 2, MARINERS 0 Corey Kluber had a three-hitter to outpitch Felix Hernandez for his first career shutout, Yan Gomes had a two-run double and Cleveland beat visiting Seattle.
BLUE JAYS 6, RED SOX 1 Mark Buehrle pitched 6 2/3 innings to earn his first victory in almost two months and Dioner Navarro had three hits and three RBI to lead Toronto to a victory over host Boston.
TIGERS 7, WHITE SOX 2 Max Scherzer pitched seven impressive innings, and Detroit scored six runs in the first inning en route to a victory over visiting Chicago.
RANGERS 3, YANKEES 2 Colby Lewis retired the last 13 batters he faced in seven strong innings and host Texas clinched its first series victory in a month, beating New York.
ROYALS 3, TWINS 2 Salvador Perez triggered a go-ahead rally with a double in the sixth inning and made several spectacular plays behind the plate, helping Kansas City to a victory over visiting Minnesota.
METS 11, PHILLIES 2 Daniel Murphy hit a three-run home run to back up Zack Wheeler's sixth consecutive strong start, and New York routed visiting Philadelphia. The Mets sent 10 men to the plate in the seventh inning, scoring five insurance runs off the Philadelphia bullpen to take two of three in the series.
DIAMONDBACKS 5, REDS 4 Paul Goldschmidt hit a two-run home run that kept Alfredo Simon winless since the All-Star game, and Arizona held on to beat host Cincinnati, taking a series between two teams struggling to score runs.
NATIONALS 4, MARLINS 3 Tanner Roark won his fourth consecutive start and visiting Washington averted a series sweep by snapping Miami's six-game winning streak. For the fourth start in a row, Roark (11-6) allowed one run in seven innings, lowering his ERA to 2.74.
GIANTS 7, PIRATES 5 Reliever Jean Machi and host San Francisco took advantage of a huge baserunning blunder by Pittsburgh, tagging out two runners who wandered away on the same play and beating the Pirates to end a six-game losing streak. San Francisco stopped a skid that matched its longest of the season, and avoided the club's first winless homestand of at least seven games in the 15-year history of AT&T Park.
ROCKIES 6, CUBS 4 (10) Brandon Barnes hit a tiebreaking RBI single in the 10th inning, and Colorado beat host Chicago. Rob Scahill (1-0)
BREWERS 5, RAYS 0 Yovani Gallardo gave up four hits in seven innings, Martin Maldonado tied a career-high with four RBI and NL Central-leading Milwaukee avoided a three-game sweep by beating David Price and host Tampa Bay. Gallardo (6-5) retired 13 in a row at one point.
Sports on 07/31/2014
Print Headline: Keuchel tosses 4-hitter as Astros rout Athletics