Dallas Keuchel (4-5, 4.65) vs Yu Darvish (8-3, 2.78)
With Marwin Gonzalez down in OKC, there was some concern over how Houston's latest tangle with Yu Darvish would turn out. But the spirit of Marwin was with the Astros tonight, and their third dance with Darvish turned out much better than the first two. Astros down the Rangers 9-5, moving to 32-56 overall.
On the Mound:
*If you had Dallas Keuchel out-dueling Yu Darvish tonight, I've got some oceanfront property in Amarillo for you. But that's exactly what happened, as Kid Keuchy left the game with a 4-0 lead and two on in the 6th. Unfortunately both of the runners he left behind scored, so he finished with a 5 IP / 6 H / 2 R / 2 ER / 1 BB / 4 K line.
*Paul Clemens got Adrian Beltre to pop out and walked Lance Berkman, who would also later score.
*Wesley Wright nearly borked everything up, allowing a sac fly to Mitch Moreland and a 3-run homer to Geovany Soto that tied the game at 4.
*Josh Fields allowed a solo HR to Nelson Cruz in his 0.2 IP.
*Travis Blackley fanned one and retired all four batters he faced in 1.1 IP perfect.
*It wasn't an official save situation, but Jose Veras got the 9th anyway, striking out one in a perfect inning.
At the Plate:
*If you had the Astros scoring 9 runs in a game started by Yu Darvish, you might be interested in the Amarillo ocean views too. 5 of those came against Yu in 6 IP, with the first two coming on a 2-run HR by Brandon Barnes in the 4th. Barnyard finished 1 for 5 with 2 K.
*Marc Krauss had the biggest game of his young big league career, going 3 for 4 with a run scored and 2 RBI on a single in the 5th.
*Jason Castro was named the Astros' 2013 All-Star earlier on Saturday, and he celebrated in style, blasting a crucial three-run HR in the 7th, finishing 2 for 5 with 2 R.
*Jake Elmore had HR #3 of the night for Houston, launching a 2-run shot in the 8th to finish 1 for 4 with a K.
*Brett Wallace had a SABR-perfect night, doubling twice and walking twice in four PA, including two runs scored.
*Jimmy Paredes and Matt Dominguez each went 1 for 5 with 2 K apiece; Dominguez also scored a run, and Paredes had a steal.
*Jose Altuve was 0 for 4 with a K, but also walked once and scored a run.
Houston's 4-0 lead was erased in one frame when Texas scored 4 of their own in the 6th, but the Astros would soon take the lead back. Jose Altuve led off the 7th by drawing a walk, which chased Darvish from the game. Robbie Ross came on and hit Brett Wallace with his second pitch, bring Castro the All-Star Astro to the plate. Jason worked a full count after falling behind 0-2, then knocked the next pitch over the right-center field fence for his 12th HR of the season, giving Houston a 7-4 lead.
Man of the Match:
Jason Castro. Well deserving of his first All-Star selection, and proving why tonight.
Goat of the Game:
Wesley Wright. Only one run charged to his ledger, but he also allowed all three of his inherited runners to score.