via The Sports Xchange
ARLINGTON, Texas — Finally, the Houston Astros got the Dallas Keuchel they were missing for his past three starts.
The left-hander held the Rangers to one run over 6 2/3 innings, and the Houston’s offense did just enough to help the Astros snap their season-high five-game losing streak with a 2-1 victory over Texas on Sunday at Globe Life Park.
Houston (72-45) and Texas (56-60) were knotted at 1-1 through six innings thanks to solo homers by the Astros’ Jose Altuve and Rangers’ Adrian Beltre, but the Astros pulled in front in the seventh.
Yuli Gurriel doubled off of the center field wall, moved up to third on a groundout and scored on Carlos Beltran’s single to left.
Keuchel earned first win since returning from the disabled list on July 28 after missing nearly two months due to a pinched nerve in his neck.
Astros reliever Chris Devenski got the last out in the seventh, and closer Ken Giles threw two innings for his 23rd save.
“The 27th out was about as good as it gets, to get to the finish line with a win,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “We’ve won so many games this year, it’s funny how you really feel like you need one. Obviously it’s been a bad week for us results-wise.
“It’s a pretty hard-fought win. Dallas set the tone and pitched very well, and we had a couple of key hits. … As much as there wasn’t a ton of action, there were a lot of stressful moments, and we won a lot of them.”
Keuchel (10-2) allowed just one run — Beltre’s bomb in the fifth — after entering the game with a 10.50 ERA in his past three starts. In two games at Globe Life Park this year, Keuchel is 2-0, having allowed one earned run in 12 2/3 innings.
“He nibbles. That’s what he does,” Rangers outfielder Delino DeShields said. “Even out of the stretch he’s tough. He messes with your timing as a hitter. … He was on his game today. Tip our cap to him.”
Andrew Cashner (7-9) gave up two runs in seven innings, but the Astros did just enough off of him to scrape by and pick up the win. The Rangers still walked away with the series win, however, and they will look to keep that formula going when the Detroit Tigers come to town on Monday.
“We had some opportunities in that game,” Rangers manager Jeff Banister said. “I thought Cash threw the ball extremely well. I feel good about how our guys played and the effort.
“Is it disappointing not to finish off the third game? It’s challenging to sweep a series. We came up short in a 2-1 game, but there are a lot of tremendous takeaways from this game and this series moving forward.”
With no outs in the eighth, Devenski walked Nomar Mazara and Beltre, prompting Hinch to bring in Giles. Carlos Gomez’s sacrifice bunt moved the runners over, but Joey Gallo lined into an inning-ending double play to end the Rangers’ best chance to either tie the game or take the lead.
“We wanted it really bad,” Giles said. “We were busting our butts out there every day trying to get back to the way we were before. You know what? Everybody goes through a slump. Teams are adjusting to us, and now we need to adjust to the new teams.”
Each starter cruised through three innings before Altuve finally broke through with his homer in the fourth. Texas had a pair of chances in the fourth and fifth innings to score, but four runners were left on base in those frames, including a bases-loaded strikeout by Mazara in the fifth.
The Rangers had another chance in the seventh once Keuchel exited the game, but Elvis Andrus flied out with two outs, stranding DeShields on third.