Keuchel notches MLB-leading 5th win vs. A's

Keuchel notches MLB-leading 5th win vs. A's

HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel allowed only one run over 7 2/3 innings to continue his dominant start to the season as the Astros defeated the A's, 7-2, on Sunday to take the three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The left-hander, who scattered three hits and two walks with a season-high nine strikeouts, is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season by going seven or more innings while allowing two or fewer runs in his first six starts. Keuchel (5-0) also tied the franchise record for wins in April, joining Roger Clemens (2004).

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Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the A's on Sunday.

Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Sunday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Shades of '15 Cy Young form for Keuchel in '17

Shades of '15 Cy Young form for Keuchel in '17

HOUSTON -- When Dallas Keuchel won the American League's Cy Young Award in 2015 and helped lead the Astros to the postseason, the momentum started with a spectacular April. Back then, Houston's lefty ace went 3-0 in the season's first month with a 0.73 ERA in five starts, and his team paced the AL West at 15-7.

Two years later, there's a familiar feeling.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Astros to activate Marisnick, option Kemp

Astros to activate Marisnick, option Kemp

HOUSTON -- The Astros anticipate activating outfielder Jake Marisnick (concussion) from the seven-day disabled list before Monday night's series opener against the division rival Rangers at Minute Maid Park.

Manager A.J. Hinch informed reserve outfielder Tony Kemp after Sunday's 7-2 win over the A's that he would be optioned back to Triple-A Fresno. Kemp, promoted on Wednesday, went 0-for-3 over five days with the Astros.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCullers, Cashner open Lone Star Series

McCullers, Cashner open Lone Star Series

The Rangers and the Astros open play Monday at Minute Maid Park with native Texan Andrew Cashner getting the nod opposite Lance McCullers Jr. in the intrastate rivalry.

Cashner was born in Conroe. Monday's game will be his first start for the Rangers against their division rivals. He'll aim to pitch better than he did in his last start, when he matched a career high with six walks and pitched just four innings in a 5-2 loss to Minnesota.

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Anthony Andro is a contributor for MLB.com based in Arlington.

Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Bregman trying to find rhythm during slow start

Bregman trying to find rhythm during slow start

HOUSTON -- Third baseman Alex Bregman was not in Sunday's Astros starting lineup for just the second time this season.

Astros manager A.J. Hinch said the decision was made in part to get switch-hitter Marwin Gonzalez in the lineup against a tough right-hander in Jesse Hahn, who entered Sunday with a 2.09 ERA. Bregman, who bats right-handed, is hitting just .242 with a .623 OPS against right-handed pitching this season.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Richard Justice

Justice: Astros ready to 'bring it' vs. Rangers

Houston hopes to make Lone Star Series less lopsided

Justice: Astros ready to 'bring it' vs. Rangers

HOUSTON -- Nothing will be decided in the four-game series between the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros that begins Monday night. It's simply one little curve in a long, long road. Whatever happens could be long since forgotten by the dog days of August and September.

So why does it feel like something more?

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Richard Justice is a columnist for MLB.com. You can follow him on Twitter @richardjustice. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

J.J. Watt felt pressure of 1st pitch

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J.J. Watt felt pressure of 1st pitch

It's hard to imagine Houston Texans star J.J. Watt being intimdated by anything -- after all, the 6-foot-5 defensive end is something of an imposing presence anywhere he goes.

And yet, it was his trip to Minute Maid Park before the Astros' 2-1 loss to the A's on Saturday night that definitely did spark a bit of anxiety (or so he said in the clip atop this post) when tasked with tossing a ceremonial first pitch to the waiting Dallas Keuchel.

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Musgrove shows growth with velo, location

Musgrove shows growth with velo, location

HOUSTON -- Joe Musgrove was a hard-luck loser on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, but manager A.J. Hinch gushed over the young right-hander's best start of the season.

In 6 1/3 innings against the A's, the 24-year-old tossed 86 pitches, allowing just one run on five hits. He struck out a season-high six batters, walking one. But a homer he surrendered to Jed Lowrie in the fourth inning on a 3-0 count was enough to put him on the hook for his second loss in Houston's 2-1 defeat.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve homers late, but rally falls short

Altuve homers late, but rally falls short

HOUSTON -- Andrew Triggs struck out a career-high nine batters over seven scoreless innings, while Jed Lowrie and Khris Davis added solo home runs as the A's ended their 10-game losing streak to the Astros in a 2-1 win on Saturday night at Minute Maid Park.

The seven-inning stint was also a career high for Triggs, who did not walk a batter and scattered five hits.

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Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the A's on Saturday.

Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Saturday.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gurriel using whole field during hot stretch

Gurriel using whole field during hot stretch

HOUSTON -- First baseman Yuli Gurriel began 2017 hitting just .125 through April 10. But in 14 games since, he's batting a Major League-best .442 with five doubles, two home runs, seven RBIs and a 1.117 OPS.

That torrid 23-for-52 stretch has certainly continued this weekend. In the first two games of a series with the A's at Minute Maid Park, Gurriel is 4-of-8 with a double and a home run.

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Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gattis, Gurriel ignite Astros comeback

Gattis, Gurriel ignite Astros comeback

HOUSTON -- Not even a pair of long home runs by A's outfielder Khris Davis could spoil the night for Astros right-hander Charlie Morton.

Morton struck out a career-high 12 in seven innings without walking any batters, and Yuli Gurriel went 3-for-4 with a home run to send the Astros to their 10th consecutive win over the A's, 9-4, in Friday's series opener at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

Richard Dean is a contributor for MLB.com based in Houston.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Morton rebounds after rough start

Righty strikes out a career-high 12 in win over A's

Morton rebounds after rough start

HOUSTON - The 100th pitch Charlie Morton threw Friday night was a 95-mph fastball that A's outfielder Jaff Decker could only foul off. Morton struck out Decker swinging on an 82-mph curveball on his next pitch, capping a strong performance from the Astros right-hander.

Despite giving up two homers to Khris Davis -- a three-run homer in the first and a solo homer in the third -- Morton came up with his best start in a couple of years by striking out a career-high 12 batters against no walks in a season-high seven innings in the Astros' 9-4 win at Minute Maid Park.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Return of Altuve, Springer buoys lineup

Return of Altuve, Springer buoys lineup

HOUSTON -- With All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve (left shoulder) and outfielder George Springer (left hamstring) both returning to the lineup for Friday's series opener against the A's after battling nagging injuries all week, the Astros are close to full strength once again.

"Any time your best players can get back in the lineup, it's a good, comfortable feeling,' Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "I hated seeing those guys go through the rigors of some smaller injuries, but it is the nature of the season."

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Corpus Christi to wear Dia de los Muertos unis

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Corpus Christi to wear Dia de los Muertos unis

Minor League teams may have adopted almost every possible team name under the sun, but there is one subset that tends to get overlooked: Those that go bump in the night. 

Other than the long-defunct Salem Witches and short-lived Casper Ghosts -- the Rockies' Casper, Wyo., affiliate that had the name from 2008-11 -- it's rare to find teams with logos featuring vampires, werewolves, goblins or ghouls. 

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Cameron drives in seven for Quad Cities

Astros' No. 9 prospect falls double short of cycle

Cameron drives in seven for Quad Cities

Daz Cameron can officially put his slow start to the season behind him.

The Astros' No. 9 prospect broke out for Class A Quad Cities on Friday, recording a career-high seven RBIs and finishing a double shy of hitting for the cycle in the River Bandits' 19-2 rout of Clinton.

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Mike Rosenbaum is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @GoldenSombrero. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Homer doesn't dull what Devo brings to plate

Homer doesn't dull what Devo brings to plate

CLEVELAND -- Astros reliever Chris Devenski was dazzling Thursday night, escaping a jam in the fifth inning and striking out four consecutive batters during one stretch, including three in the sixth. He was one out away from polishing off another strong outing before Francisco Lindor changed the course of the night in the seventh inning.

Lindor crushed a 2-0 changeup -- Devenski's best pitch -- and sent it 456 feet, according to Statcast™, for the longest homer of his career. The two-run shot scored Yan Gomes, who walked with one out, and sent the Astros to a 4-3 loss on Thursday night.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Altuve's CS a crucial moment in loss to Tribe

Altuve's CS a crucial moment in loss to Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Considering how difficult it is to score runs off Indians closer Cody Allen, the Astros tried to force the issue and move a runner into scoring position, down by a run in the ninth inning Thursday after Jose Altuve led off with a pinch-hit single.

Altuve was thrown out trying to steal second on the third pitch of the next at-bat, an out magnified when Josh Reddick and Carlos Beltran followed with singles. Allen came back to retire Carlos Correa and Brian McCann to end the game, leaving Reddick stranded at third with the tying run in the Astros' 4-3 loss at Progressive Field. Altuve was 7-for-7 on stolen-base attempts prior to Yan Gomes throwing him out in the ninth.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gonzalez homers, but Astros fall late vs. Tribe

Gonzalez homers, but Astros fall late vs. Tribe

CLEVELAND -- Indians shortstop Francisco Lindor is one of the game's most talented young players, and he reminded the Astros of that Thursday. Lindor's two-run, go-ahead homer in the seventh powered the Indians to a 4-3 victory over the Astros in the series finale at Progressive Field.

"It was fun to see," Lindor said. "As soon as I hit it, I knew it was going to go out, especially with how the ball was carrying today. It was special, because I was capable of helping my team win today."

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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Patience is approach for Lindor, Correa

Free agency is five years away, and top shortstops in no hurry to sign

Patience is approach for Lindor, Correa

CLEVELAND -- They were born near each other, made their debuts within a week of each other, finished first and second in the 2015 American League Rookie of the Year Award race, play the same position, took the field next to each other for Team Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic and had this fun little moment on the basepaths Wednesday.

Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor are very different ballplayers, but they've formed a legitimate friendship out of shared circumstances. So it should probably not be a surprise that they are handling a major business decision the exact same way.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Gattis, McCann launch homers in Astros' loss

Gattis, McCann launch homers in Astros' loss

CLEVELAND -- Michael Brantley does not look like he's missed a beat. In a 7-6 victory over the Astros at Progressive Field on Wednesday night, the Indians left fielder continued his impressive comeback with a pair of hits and three RBIs to pace the Tribe's offense.

"Getting him back in name is one thing," Indians manager Terry Francona said. "But getting him back as the player he was is pretty impressive on his part. I think the more repetition he gets, you're starting to see him get some timing. That's good."

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William Kosileski is a reporter for MLB.com based in Cleveland.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick's missed catches costly for Astros

Reddick's missed catches costly for Astros

CLEVELAND -- Just a day after he played the role of hero by making a terrific catch at the wall to rob Jason Kipnis of a homer, Astros outfielder Josh Reddick lamented a pair of balls he couldn't quite catch in the first inning that loomed large in Houston's 7-6 loss to the Indians on Wednesday night at Progressive Field.

Reddick, starting his second consecutive game in center field with George Springer and Jake Marisnick both out with injuries, couldn't corral a ball off the bat of Michael Brantley as he hit the wall in left-center. It went for an RBI double. Two hitters later, Jose Ramirez drove a fly ball to left-center that Reddick briefly had in his glove before he hit the ground on a diving attempt. The ball came free, and Ramirez had an RBI double, scoring Brantley for a 3-0 Cleveland lead.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Kemp called up; Hernandez on DL

Astros second baseman feels good, but sitting out Wednesday following collision

Kemp called up; Hernandez on DL

CLEVELAND -- The Astros called up their second player from Triple-A Fresno in as many days Wednesday, summoning Tony Kemp to replace outfielder Teoscar Hernandez, who was placed on the 10-day disabled list. Hernandez had been called up Tuesday and was promptly injured in a 4-2 win over the Indians.

Kemp, who hit .217 in 59 games with the Astros in his big league debut this past year, got the nod because he plays all three outfield positions, as well as second base. He was hitting .297 with a .342 on-base percentage in 17 games for Fresno.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Lindor messed with Correa at second

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Lindor messed with Correa at second

Nearly seven years ago, LeBron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade decided to join forces in Miami after a friendship born during their time with the U.S. National Team. This year's World Baseball Classic has helped develop similarly strong bonds for baseball.

During Wednesday night's game between the Indians and Astros, shortstops Francisco Lindor and Carlos Correa had a little fun at second base after a fourth-inning double by Correa.

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Keuchel, Reddickulous catch KO Cleveland

Keuchel, Reddickulous catch KO Cleveland

CLEVELAND -- In a matchup of two of the American League's top clubs, Dallas Keuchel was once again on top of his game. The Houston lefty continued his strong start to the season, stifling the Indians in a 4-2 victory on Tuesday night at Progressive Field.

Behind a complete-game six-hitter, Keuchel improved to 4-0 on the young season for the AL West-leading Astros, ending the night with a 1.22 ERA. The left-hander struck out five and sidestepped the potential harm of the three walks he issued. Keuchel has now thrown 11 complete games in his career.

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Jordan Bastian has covered the Indians for MLB.com since 2011, and previously covered the Blue Jays from 2006-10. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, follow him on Twitter @MLBastian and listen to his podcast.

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast.

This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Reddick pulls back homer, stunning Kipnis

Reddick pulls back homer, stunning Kipnis

CLEVELAND -- Making his first start of the year in center field, Astros outfielder Josh Reddick delivered a terrific catch in the fifth inning of Tuesday night's 4-2 win over the Indians, stealing what would've been the first home run of the season from second baseman Jason Kipnis.

Starting in center with George Springer (hamstring discomfort) and Jake Marisnick (mild concussion) both out of the lineup, Reddick tracked down Kipnis' deep fly at the wall in right-center and caught the ball as it was sailing above the yellow line to rob him of a home run. The ball traveled 391 feet, according to Statcast™.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Was Reddick wearing Spider-Man undershirt?

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Was Reddick wearing Spider-Man undershirt?

Outfielder Josh Reddick brought more than just his offense to the Astros this season -- he also brought his glove, the one that earned him a 2012 Gold Glove Award with the A's. Oh, and also his Spider-Man undershirt. That's with him in Houston, too. 

In Houston's 4-2 win over the Indians at Progressive Field on Tuesday, Reddick found a perfect opportunity to flaunt his knack for the ridiculous (Reddickulous?) when Jason Kipnis lofted a fly ball to deep center field in the fifth inning. Connecting on a 3-2 pitch from Dallas Keuchel, Kipnis thought he had hit a homer.

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MLB.com Columnist

Anthony Castrovince

Statcast of the Day: Keuchel owns low zone

Astros lefty records 15 ground-ball outs, improves to 4-0

Statcast of the Day: Keuchel owns low zone

CLEVELAND -- The Indians tried to counter the Dallas Keuchel phenomenon on Tuesday night with that rarest of results -- the fly ball.

Austin Jackson hit one for a solo home run in the third. Michael Brantley did the same in the ninth. Jason Kipnis would have had a fifth-inning shot, if not for a ridiculous catch by Josh Reddick. And there was a truly costly fly for Keuchel's Astros when Yan Gomes lofted one to shallow right in the eighth and Teoscar Hernandez and Jose Altuve had a vicious collision while trying to run it down.

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Anthony Castrovince has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2004. Read his columns and follow him on Twitter at @Castrovince. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Springer lends hand despite hamstring issue

Springer lends hand despite hamstring issue

CLEVELAND -- Astros outfielder George Springer was out of the starting lineup for a second consecutive game on Tuesday due to left hamstring discomfort, but he was forced into action in the eighth inning of his club's 4-2 win over the Indians when newly recalled outfielder Teoscar Hernandez and All-Star second baseman Jose Altuve exited upon colliding in the outfield.

Springer, who sustained his injury while running to first base in Saturday's game against the Rays in St. Petersburg, ran on the field pregame on Tuesday at Progressive Field and took batting practice.

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Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.