Red-hot Rangers hand Astros third successive loss

Thu Sep 17, 2015 12:25am EDT
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(The Sports Xchange) - Houston ace Dallas Keuchel had the worst outing of his big-league career as Texas rolled to a 14-3 victory on Wednesday that moved the Rangers 1-1/2 games ahead of the Astros in the American League West.

Keuchel, a Cy Young candidate, gave up nine earned runs and three of the five home runs the Rangers smashed in their 16-hit performance.

The Rangers wasted no time in getting to Keuchel (17-8), scoring six runs in the first inning, with left fielder Mike Napoli hitting a three-run homer and second baseman Rougned Odor adding a two-run shot.

Designated hitter Prince Fielder hit two of the Rangers' five homers, including a solo shot off Keuchel in the third inning and a three-run shot in the sixth off Michael Feliz.

"You saw some big hitters on a mission," Texas manager Jeff Banister said. "We talked about the big man in the middle (Fielder) and how he was close.

"He wasn't close tonight, he was a man on a mission, getting out front and showing what he can be in that batter's box for us."

Keuchel gave up 11 hits in his 4-2/3 innings.

"I know the guys were leaning on me to go out there and perform," Keuchel said. "When I looked at their lineup and saw four lefties in there, I kind of get excited, because I don't normally face a lot of lefties.

"Knock on wood, I've been pretty good against them. And then they are hitting everything out of the ballpark. It's frustrating but they're a hot team."   Continued...

Sep 16, 2015; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) leaves the game during the fifth inning against the Texas Rangers at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports