Dallas Keuchel appears to be returning to his Cy Young form after a dismal 2016 season had the Houston Astros re-evaluating the ceiling of their ace left-hander.
Keuchel became the first seven-game winner in MLB despite his shortest outing of the season in the 12-2 rout of the Miami Marlins on Tuesday.
With an eight-run lead, manager A.J. Hinch decided to pull the southpaw after the fifth inning. And with the win, the Astros (28-12) own the best record in the majors and have now won 13 of 16 games.
Keuchel's ERA actually rose to 1.84 after allowing two runs to the otherwise stagnant Marlins offense, which went hitless for the final six innings against Keuchel and two relievers, and totalled just four hits.
The Baltimore Orioles outlasted the Detroit Tigers 13-11, the New York Yankees eased past the Kansas City Royals 7-1, the Texas Rangers were too good for the Philadelphia Phillies 5-1, reigning World Series champions the Chicago Cubs overcame the Cincinnati Reds 9-5, the Colorado Rockies defeated the Minnesota Twins 7-3 and the Atlanta Braves downed the Toronto Blue Jays 9-5.
Elsewhere, the Milwaukee Brewers accounted for the San Diego Padres 6-2, the San Francisco Giants edged the Los Angeles Dodgers 2-1, the New York Mets lost 5-4 to the Arizona Diamondbacks, the Boston Red Sox were 6-3 winners against the St Louis Cardinals, the Washington Nationals topped the Pittsburgh Pirates 8-4, the Cleveland Indians suffered a 6-4 defeat to the Tampa Bay Rays, the Oakland Athletics prevailed 9-6 against the Seattle Mariners, while the Los Angeles Angels had a 7-6 walk-off win over the Chicago White Sox.
YANKEES FEAST ON HAMMEL AND CO.
The Yankees extended their lead in the American League (AL) East by routing the Royals at Kauffman Stadium behind 13 hits. Gary Sanchez (three-run HR), Chris Carter (two-run HR), Jacoby Ellsbury (two RBIs), and Aaron Judge (two hits, stolen base) feasted on Jason Hammel and his team-mates in the win.
TORONTO'S PITCHERS PUNISHED
Facing the Braves, the Toronto pitching staff allowed nine runs on 15 hits with most of the damage coming early and often against starter Marco Estrada, who allowed five runs over six innings of work. Danny Barnes actually took the loss after allowing the Braves' go-ahead run in the seventh inning. Joe Smith and closer Roberto Osuna did not aid in the comeback attempt, allowing three runs between them in a combined inning of work.
MARTINEZ HITS A GRAND SLAM
Tigers slugger J.D. Martinez hit his second homer of the night, a grand slam in the seventh inning to give the Tigers the lead over the Orioles after trailing by six runs.
RED SOX AT CARDINALS
Like Kuechel last season, Red Sox ace Rick Porcello (2-5, 4.01 ERA) is struggling early after winning the Cy Young Award in 2016. Things did not get easier on the right-hander as he squares off against a hot Cardinals offense on Wednesday. Mike Leake (4-2, 1.94 ERA) toes the rubber for the Red Birds at Busch Stadium as each team will don 1967 throwback uniforms to commemorate the Fall Classic of 50 years ago.
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