Keuchel recovers nicely from rough first inning

Astros starter gets win, but streak of 13 quality starts comes to end

Keuchel recovers nicely from rough first inning

ANAHEIM -- This was a win Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel deserved. Sure, he didn't have his best stuff Saturday night, especially during a tenuous first inning, but his teammates gave him a four-run cushion and the bullpen held the lead for a 6-5 win over the Angels at Angel Stadium.

Keuchel (4-0), who had no-decisions in three terrific starts earlier this year, saw his streak of 13 consecutive quality starts come to an end after allowing four runs in 6 2/3 innings. He had given up only four earned runs in 45 innings this year entering the game, but a win is a win.

"He's been good for us and we haven't even rewarded him with a win when he's been at his best," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "For him to get the win and fight through the early control issue, it's a big boost. Our club has a lot of confidence with him on the mound."

Keuchel said he felt as strong physically in the first inning as he has all year, which can correlate to some command issues for a finesse pitcher. He allowed three hits, two walks and two runs in the first, but got Carlos Perez to hit into a bases-loaded double play to end the inning. It could have been worse.

"I came out and I felt good physically, but my command was way off," he said. "I pretty much sucked in the first inning, and that's what good teams do is capitalize. … Luckily, I got out of there with only two runs. I felt like I was going to give up the house, and thankfully I didn't."

Keuchel righted the ship after the first and was pitching with a 6-2 lead after three innings. He wasn't going to let it slip away.

"I wasn't very crisp tonight early and the offense picked me up," he said. "It's a funny game; it really is. You've got to come out and show your stuff every time out. I didn't go a very good job early and they took advantage of that. What can you say about the offense, coming back and scoring six early when pretty we had scored three runs in one inning in [previous] two games?"

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.