Keuchel, 3 Astros relievers combine to 3-hit Angels 4-0
Apr. 19, 2015
HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel had a sharp cutter and the Houston Astros felt loose.
Then George Springer provided the offensive spark.
Keuchel combined with three relievers on a three-hitter, and Springer and Robbie Grossman homered to lead the Astros over the Los Angeles Angels 4-0 Saturday night.
Springer's solo homer off C.J. Wilson (1-2) put the Astros ahead for good in the sixth, Springer's first home run this season.
"On that home run you get the lead, and the momentum comes in our way," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
Grossman hit a three-run drive off Mike Morin in the seventh.
"Those two home runs came at key moments after a good pitching performance with less than ideal stuff from Keuchel," Hinch said.
Keuchel (2-0) allowed two hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked three, throwing a season-high 105 pitches.
"That's a talented lineup there, and I was lucky to get out of there with six innings," Keuchel said.
Chad Qualls struck out the side in the seventh, Pat Neshek followed with a one-hit eighth and Luke Gregerson struck out his first two batters in a 1-2-3 ninth.
Angels batters struck out a season-high 13 times, and Los Angeles was unhappy with the strike zone of plate umpire Paul Nauert. Collin Cowgill was ejected after he was called out on strikes, ending the seventh.
"I was taking my shin guard off, and my shin guard got Velcro stuck to my pant leg," Cowgill said. "I tried to shake it off and it landed at his feet, and he threw me out of the game. It was an accident, 100 percent it was an accident. Did not mean to kick my shin guard at anyone."
Wilson gave up two runs, three hits and four walks in 6 2-3 innings with eight strikeouts. He didn't allow a hit until Jose Altuve's two-out single in the fifth.
"Sometimes you pitch well and somebody pitches a little bit better," Wilson said.
A night after hitting two home runs and driving in five runs, the Angels' Mike Trout went 0 for 4 with two strikeouts.
The Astros commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Astrodome by donning their 1965 throwback jerseys. "They're different," Hinch said. "I like them." The Angels also went vintage with their 1965-70 road jerseys. Six members of the 1965 Astros were at the game: 3B Bob Aspromonte, C Ron Brand, RHP Bob Bruce, RHP Dan Coombs, RHP Larry Dierker and OF Jimmy Wynn. The grounds crew donned orange astronaut uniforms, complete with helmets and ushers dressed like the Spacettes from 50 years ago. Dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened, the Astrodome hosted the Astros until 1999.
Angels: Los Angeles plans to activate RHP Garrett Richards from the disabled list for Sunday's start. Richards, who had left knee surgery last August, had been on an injury rehabilitation assignment with Triple-A Salt Lake.
Astros: RHP Josh Fields (groin) impressed in his last outing with Triple-A Fresno, and manager A.J. Hinch said it was possible Fields could join the team during its upcoming three-city trip. "The report was that it was some of the best stuff that Fields has featured while on rehab," Hinch said. "His stuff was together and his changeup was really good. Fields is expected to see rehab action again Sunday. ... LHP Brett Oberholtzer is to throw batting practice as early as Monday as he comes back from a finger injury.
Angels: Richards, who went 13-4 with a 2.61 ERA in 2014, is to pitch for Los Angeles for the first time since Aug. 20.
Astros: RHP Scott Feldman (0-2) looks to bounce back from a poor outing April 13 against Oakland, when he allowed eight runs and 10 hits in five innings.