(The Sports Xchange) - Dallas Keuchel pitched splendidly into the eighth inning as the Astros beat the Los Angeles Angels 6-3 on Monday.
Keuchel (18-8) allowed one run on six hits and one walk with six strikeouts over 7-2/3 innings.
Shelled for a career-high nine runs last week at Texas, Keuchel returned to his dominating form at home to record his 14th win at home. Keuchel has a 1.47 ERA and 129 strikeouts over 17 home starts this year.
“I really didn’t feel that well heading into it,” Keuchel said. “It was one of those things; I knew I had to battle.
“All in all, I’ll take it, but definitely frustrating based on some of those base hits.”
The Astros (80-71) extended their lead for the second American League wild card to three games over the idle Minnesota Twins and 3-1/2 games over the Angels (76-74).
Second baseman Jose Altuve, right fielder George Springer and shortstop Carlos Correa keyed the Houston attack going a combined 8-for-12 with three runs and four RBIs.
“When they put it together, it’s pretty fun, isn’t it?” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said.
“It’s a difficult trio to get through, especially when they get going one after another. Whether it’s speed, whether it’s power, whether it’s quality at-bats, when all three of those guys are locked in, it’s a pretty special group.”
Houston picked up a half-game on the Texas Rangers in the chase for the American League West title, slicing the deficit to one game.
The Angels rallied with two outs in the ninth against right-hander Josh Fields and lefty Oliver Perez, getting the tying run to the plate in the form of shortstop Erick Aybar.
However, Astros closer Luke Gregerson induced a groundout for his 28th save.
Compiled by Greg Stutchbury