Kyle Kendrick (9-10, 3.83) vs Dallas Keuchel (1-7, 5.35)
At the end of the 2011 season, the Astros had the chance to play spoiler against the eventual World Series champion St. Louis Cardinals. That didn't work out so well, but it seems these 2012 Astros are determined to make the most of their spoiler opportunities this year. Tonight they win 5-0 against the Phillies, moving back to .500 in September at 7-7; six of those wins have come against teams in the playoff hunt. For at least one more day, they also stave off 100 losses, now at 47-99.
*Dallas Keuchel hadn't won a game since going the distance in his second big league start back on June 23. He wasn't quite that sharp tonight, but he was still more than good enough to earn his second big league win. Kid Keuchy's line: 5.1 IP / 5 H / 0 R / 0 ER / 4 BB / 0 K. Mickey Storey struck out both batters he faced in returning from his scary line-drive-to-the-face incident on Wednesday. Xavier Cedeno, Hector Ambriz, and Wesley Wright then contributed a scoreless inning each to close out the victory for Houston.
*Justin Maxwell kept his hitting streak alive - now 9 games - and got the Astros on the board early again with a two-run homer in the 1st. He finished 1 for 4 with a K, and the HR was his team-leading 16th.
*Jose Altuve led off the game with a single and scored on Maxwell's blast, finishing 1 for 3 with a RBI of his own on a ground out in the 2nd.
*Jason Castro went 2 for 4 with a double and two runs scored.
*J.D. Martinez also had a multi-hit night, going 2 for 4 with a RBI.
*Brett Wallace doubled to go 1 for 4 with a RBI and 3 K.
*Dallas Keuchel also logged his second big league hit, going 1 for 2 with a run scored.
*Jed Lowrie (1 for 4) and Matt Dominguez (1 for 4, K) had the Astros' other hits.
Like last night, the winning team took control in the first, but this time, it was the Astros. The Phillies loaded the bases in the top of the 1st but failed to score, then Jose Altuve led off the bottom of the inning with a single. Fernando Martinez grounded out and Brett Wallace struck out against Houston native Kyle Kendrick, but then Justin Maxwell sent a full-count changeup to the Crawford Boxes for the only runs that Houston would need.
Man of the Match:
Dallas Keuchel. The Kid did great against a Phillies offense that scored 16 runs in the first two games of this series.
We like winning. Let's do more of it.