Alex Bregman set a career high for homers and Dallas Keuchel posted his third scoreless start on the season as the host Houston Astros beat the Detroit Tigers 3-0 on Friday at Minute Maid Park.
Bregman clubbed a two-run blast off Tigers right-hander Mike Fiers (6-6) in the first inning, driving in George Springer and setting a new single-season mark with his 20th home run. Bregman slugged 19 homers last season, his first full campaign in the majors. He has recorded half of his season total since June 20, batting .344 with 22 RBIs during that 22-game stretch.
Keuchel (7-8) continued his stellar pitching of late, allowing six hits and one walk over six scoreless innings. He recorded four strikeouts, two in succession to close the third inning after surrendering consecutive hits to lead off that frame. Keuchel induced double-play grounders to erase baserunners in the fourth and fifth. When he found trouble in the sixth, he got Tigers designated hitter Victor Martinez to hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases full and two outs.
Keuchel worked seven scoreless innings against Texas on May 13, and his six scoreless frames against the Royals on June 22 marked his second consecutive start without allowing an earned run. Keuchel has surrendered just nine earned runs over his last six starts, with six of those runs coming against the Blue Jays in a 7-6 home win on June 27. He is 4-0 over his last seven starts.
Fiers made his first start against the Astros since he was non-tendered by the club last offseason. Instrumental in keeping Houston afloat during a midseason stretch where its rotation was ravaged by injury, Fiers joined the Astros at the non-waiver deadline in 2015.
He weaved in an out of trouble following the Bregman home run. Despite the first three batters reaching against Fiers in the third, the Astros managed only one run when Yuli Gurriel delivered a single that plated Bregman. Fiers allowed a pair of two-out singles in the second inning, a one-out single to Tony Kemp in the fourth, and a one-out double to Marwin Gonzalez in the sixth. He retired the side in order only once, in the fifth, yet allowed just three runs over six innings.
Astros closer Hector Rondon tallied his eighth save.
–Field Level Media