Keuchel's strong April nets monthly honor

Lefty is first Astro to win 4 Pitcher of Month Awards

Keuchel's strong April nets monthly honor

HOUSTON -- Astros lefty Dallas Keuchel was rewarded for his tremendous April by being named the American League Pitcher of the Month on Wednesday. He's the first pitcher in franchise history to win four Pitcher of the Month Awards.

Keuchel went 5-0 with a complete game and a 1.21 ERA in six starts in April, allowing 25 hits and 11 walks, while recording 36 strikeouts in his 44 2/3 innings. Keuchel led the Major Leagues in wins and innings pitched in April, while ranking third in the AL in ERA and in opponent batting average (.164).

"It just means we came out and played the way we're capable of playing," Keuchel said. "Just getting off to a better start than we did last year was probably the main key, the main goal in mind. There was plenty of plays made behind me when I pitched, so I don't take much credit for this at all. Just like any other starter would probably say the same thing."

Past winners

Keuchel became the first pitcher in franchise history to go at least seven innings while allowing two or fewer runs in his first six starts to a season. Additionally, Keuchel's five wins in April tied the franchise record for the month, a record set by Roger Clemens in his National League Cy Young Award season of 2004.

Keuchel collects April honor

"It was obviously a great start to the season for him individually, but probably the impact for our team can't be overstated," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "You have your first guy go out Opening Day and set a tone for the season that really kick-started the season for us.

"As he continued to put up good games and have a really exceptional month, I think our team sort of followed suit. He's been very consistent this year, he was very focused through the offseason to get himself healthy, but obviously the production on the field has been exceptional."

Keuchel also won AL Pitcher of the Month three times during his AL Cy Young Award-winning campaign in 2015 (April, May, August). J.R. Richard won one award in each season of 1978, '79 and '80, but no Astros pitcher had won four. Keuchel is now one of four active pitchers to have won four AL Pitcher of the Month Awards, joining Bartolo Colon, Felix Hernandez and Justin Verlander .

An Astros pitcher has won the April Pitcher of the Month Award six times: Keuchel (2015, '17), Clemens ('04), Wade Miller ('01), Richard ('80) and Ken Forsch ('79).

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.