July 21, 2018 / 5:45 PM / 3 months ago

Keuchel flirts with no-hitter as Astros quiet Angels, 3-1

Dallas Keuchel flirted with a no-hitter before setting for a two-hit performance over 7 2/3 innings in the Houston Astros’ 3-1 victory over the Los Angeles Angels on Friday night in Anaheim, Calif.

Jul 3, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Houston Astros starting pitcher Dallas Keuchel (60) pitches against the Texas Rangers during the second inning at Globe Life Park in Arlington. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Keuchel (8-8) did not allow a hit until Justin Upton singled off the glove of shortstop Marwin Gonzalez with two out in the seventh inning. The Angels scored a run in the eighth inning off Keuchel on a sacrifice fly by Jabari Blash.

Hector Rondon pitched the ninth inning for his ninth save of the season. Josh Reddick led the Astros offensively with two hits, including an RBI triple.

Keuchel’s performance should come as no surprise considering his history against the Angels — he entered the game 10-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 16 career games (15 starts) against them. The only Angels hitter with any success against him was Mike Trout, who was 14-for-41 (.341) with two homers against him before going 0-for-3 on Friday and 0-for-4 overall in the game.

The Astros scored a single run off Angels starter Tyler Skaggs (7-6) in each of the first three innings. Jose Altuve had an RBI single in the first, George Springer had a sacrifice fly in the second and Reddick had an RBI triple in the third.

That was all the Astros could muster against Skaggs, who went six innings and gave up the three runs on six hits and three walks. He struck out one and threw 94 pitches.

Keuchel was sharp from the outset, retiring the first nine batters he faced until leadoff hitter David Fletcher walked on four pitches to begin the fourth inning. Fletcher reached second on a groundout by Andrelton Simmons, but Keuchel kept Fletcher anchored at second by retiring both Trout and Upton to get out of the inning.

Keuchel retired the side in order again in the fifth and sixth innings, then got the first two batters in the seventh before Upton’s base-hit ended the no-hit bid.

Ian Kinsler had the Angels second hit of the night, a single to lead off the eighth. He reached second and then third on a groundout and fielder’s choice, respectively, before scoring on Blash’s fly ball to right field.

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