Keuchel's tough-luck stretch continues vs. NY

Astros lefty holds Yanks to 2 runs, fans 5 in loss

Keuchel's tough-luck stretch continues vs. NY

HOUSTON -- Astros left-hander Dallas Keuchel continues to perform like he did for all of last season, when he won the American League Cy Young award. The only thing missing was a win over the Yankees, a team he's dominated in his career.

Keuchel held the Yankees to two runs, six hits and no walks in 7 2/3 innings in Monday's 2-1 loss to the Yankees at Minute Maid Park, continuing his strong run of pitching. He's 3-1 with a 2.72 ERA in his last seven starts, but hasn't won any of his last three outings because of poor run support.

"I felt like today was the first time, even through this whole [winning] stretch that I've really been able to command both sides of the plate -- fastball, both sides," he said. "The only thing lacking was a few sliders to [Austin] Romine. Credit him for taking advantage of those, but I felt really good. That's a good sign. Hopefully that only means good things for me going forward."

In six career starts against the Yankees, including last year's gem in the AL Division Series, Keuchel has a 1.41 ERA, which ranks fourth all-time among pitchers with at least 40 innings pitched against the Bombers in the regular season and postseason.

"Keuchel was pretty good," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "Early they hit him hard and we made some defensive plays behind him, and I thought he settled in. His best inning was probably in the seventh when he punched out the side after the leadoff double.

"I thought the finish on his pitches were good, I thought the command of his pitches were good. A couple of 0-2 hits early -- the first two hits of the game -- and a couple of bleeders that ended up costing him a run, but the end the big double from Romine was the difference. All in all, Dallas is pitching very well with his stuff working in every direction."

Hinch on the Astros' 2-1 loss

Keuchel retired 13 of the first 14 batters he faced before giving up a double to Didi Gregorious in the fifth and a bloop RBI single to tie the game. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the eighth on a lead-off single by Chase Headley and RBI double by Romine.

"When I made my pitches they had weak contact or struck out," Keuchel said. "It's really frustrating that we lost, 2-1. [Yankees starter Michael] Pineda had a really nice night and that's the way it goes sometimes."

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for 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.