Keuchel solid again to help Astros over A's 6-1

HOUSTON — Evan Gattis hit a two-run homer to help Dallas Keuchel earn his eighth straight win, and the Houston Astros kept rolling with a 6-1 victory over the Oakland Athletics on Wednesday.

The Astros improved to an American League-best 27-14, giving them the best start through 41 games in franchise history. Sitting atop the AL West, this is the latest the Astros have led their division since May 22, 2004.

Keuchel (6-0) allowed six hits and no earned runs in seven innings to lower his ERA to 1.67. He's won eight straight decisions dating back to last year, which is the longest streak by a starter in the majors. And his 6-0 mark this year is the best by an Astro since Roger Clemens opened the 2004 season at 9-0.

The game was tied in the sixth inning when Gattis sent his soaring homer into left field to make it 3-1. George Springer, who finished with two hits, singled with two outs to set up the go-ahead shot by Gattis.

Oakland starter Jesse Hahn (1-3) allowed five hits and three runs in six innings for his third consecutive loss.

The A's have lost six of their past seven and 12 of 14 games to fall to 14 games under .500 for the first time since finishing the 2011 season 74-88.

Colby Rasmus drove in a run with a bases-loaded sacrifice fly in the eighth and Chris Carter tacked on a pair with a single to shallow center in that inning.

Marwin Gonzalez doubled to start the third for Houston's first hit. He advanced to third on a wild pitch and put the Astros up 1-0 when he scored on a single by Jake Marisnick.

A walk by Billy Butler followed by consecutive singles by Brett Lawrie and Josh Phegley loaded the bases for Oakland with one out in the fourth inning. But Keuchel escaped the jam by retiring Mark Canha and Craig Gentry to end the inning.

Butler and Lawrie hit back-to-back singles with one out in the sixth and Butler scored on a two-out error by Carter on a ball hit by Canha to tie it at 1-all.

Eric Sogard singled to start the seventh, but Keuchel sat down the next three batters to end his day.


Athletics: OF Coco Crisp was out of the lineup on Wednesday after leaving Tuesday night's game after the top of the fourth inning with tightness in his neck. Manager Bob Melvin said he's listed as day to day. … Second baseman Ben Zobrist, on the 15-day DL with a knee injury, felt good after playing five innings in a minor league rehabilitation start. He's scheduled to play seven innings in a second start on Wednesday. “He felt better pre-game as far as sliding and running the bases, and no complications during the game,” Melvin said. … Starter Drew Pomeranz returned to Oakland on Wednesday to be examined after leaving Monday night's game in the fifth inning with tightness in his left shoulder.

Astros: Brett Oberholtzer, who is on the disabled list for the second time this season with a blister on his left index finger, threw a bullpen on Tuesday and will throw another one in a few days before throwing live batting practice and possibly leaving for a rehabilitation assignment. Manager A.J. Hinch isn't sure how many rehabilitation starts he'll need before he is activated. “He's never really been built up to the 100 pitches and I'm not sure how we're going to test his blister (with) anything more than volume,” Hinch said.


Athletics: The A's open a four-game series at Tampa Bay with Jesse Chavez facing Alex Colome. Chavez has alternated between the bullpen and starting this season and is 1-3 with a 3.19 ERA in five starts.

Astros: The Astros head to Detroit to open a four-game series with Scott Feldman opposing David Price. Feldman is coming off a win over Toronto when he struck out a season-high 10 batters, which were the most he fanned since a career-high 12 on May 1, 2013.

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