On a night where NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta no-hit the Cincinnati Reds, the AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel was in Arlington which continues to be something of a house of horrors for the southpaw.
After losing nine consecutive games at The Ballpark dating back to last April, the Astros had to feel pretty good about their chances in tonight's game with Keuchel on the mound against transient No. 5 starter A.J. Griffin for the Rangers.
Two batters into the game and the Texas Rangers trailed 1-0 as Jose Altuve and George Springer each doubled and it looked like the Rangers' home dominance of Houston was in jeopardy of coming to an end. However, Griffin wiggled out of the first without any further damage which would prove pivotal.
In the bottom of the inning, after getting two quick dribblers back to the mound, Keuchel allowed two-out singles to Adrian Beltre and Prince Fielder to bring up Ian Desmond. Desmond made his first big mark in his stint with the Rangers by hitting a two-out, three-run dong to put the Rangers up 3-1.
From there, with a lead, Griffin settled in and allowed just a Colby Rasmus solo home run the rest of the way and finished his night going six innings while allowing two runs on four hits, two walks and six strikeouts.
Keuchel, on the other hand, allowed three more Ranger runs and a career high 13 total hits in his six innings as he had his worst start since he allowed nine runs to Texas back in September of last season. Keuchel now has a 6.75 ERA in 40 career innings against the Rangers in Arlington. Keuchel has a 3.39 ERA in 657 2/3 innings against all teams elsewhere.
Adrian Beltre hit a late solo pizza dong and Rasmus hit his second homer of the night, a two-run shot off Tony Barnette in the 8th, to make it 7-4 which brought on Shawn Tolleson to collect his 6th save of the season as he finished off the Astros in the 9th.
With the sweep, Texas finished their homestand with a 5-1 record against Baltimore and Houston. At 10-6, the Rangers are tied for the most wins in the American League. Houston moves to 5-11 which is a half game back of the Minnesota Twins for the worst record in the American League.
Player of the Game: Ian Desmond finally contributed to the offense with what is actually one of the biggest hits of the young season. Desmond's first home run as a Ranger put Texas up 3-1 in the first inning after two, two-out singles off Keuchel. Desmond finished 2 for 4 with the dinger, a double, two runs scored, and three RBIs.