Keuchel Starts Second Half With Two-Hitter
Early Runs Hold Up In 3-1 Victory

Reddick: Scores second run
(c) Associated Press
They booed.

Whether those were Astros fans scattered amongst 42,422 spectators or a lot of folks who really preferred to watch baseball history over an Angels win keeping their necks above .500, the crowd at the Big A booed Friday night when it was announced that Justin Upton's liner off shortstop Marwin Gonzalez' glove in the seventh was ruled a base hit, thus ending Dallas Keuchel's no-hit bid after 6-2/3rd innings.

Had that been Carlos Correa, who knows? Keuchel shrugged it off and tossed a two-hitter over 7-2/3rd in a 3-1 victory over Anaheim that kicked off the "second half" of the 2018 baseball season for both teams. Disregard, for the moment, that it was also the Astros' 100th game of the year.

After a sacrifice fly by Jabari Blash plated Ian Kinsler in the eighth, Collin McHugh relieved Keuchel and got the final out. Hector Rondon worked a 1-2-3 ninth for his ninth save, including strike outs of Upton and Mike Trout.

Keuchel evened his season mark at 8-8 with his fifth win since June 5th, posting a record of 5-0 with his ERA dropping from 4.45 to 3.60 over that time.

Houston scored early against Tyler Skaggs who is usually nails against Astros hitters. George Springer singled to start the contest and appeared to be picked off at first until the Astros appealed to replay and won the challenge. After All-Star MVP Alex Bregman walked, Jose Altuve slapped a 1-2 pitch back through the box to score Springer with the game's first run.

The Astros pecked away in the second with consecutive singles by Josh Reddick, Gonzalez and Max Stassi to load the bases. After Kyle Tucker struck out (Tucker went 0-for-4 to drop his average to .129), Springer blooped a sacrifice fly into short center to get Reddick home.

After a two-out walk to Evan Gattis in the third, Reddick belted a triple to the right field corner to make it a 3-0 lead that lasted until late in the game.

Seattle also won so Houston's lead is still at five although they made some ground on Oakland who lost.

Justin Verlander (9-5) gets his start Saturday in a 6:15 pm Central battle against former Astro Nick Tropeano (3-4) in a game that can be found in various Fox tv markets.

As for Correa, the shortstop has been held out of this road trip as he continues to treat a sore back. He has yet to do any baseball-related drills since landing on the disabled list back on June 25th. The Astros also recalled infielder J.D. Davis from AAA Fresno and sent down infielder Tyler White as the skill set of Davis adds a bit more flexibility defensively while the versatile Gonzalez is stuck mostly at shortstop.

- Bob Hulsey