Keuchel sharp as Astros beat Kluber, Indians 2-0
HOUSTON (AP) — Dallas Keuchel and two relievers combined on a three-hitter, and the Houston Astros beat the Cleveland Indians 2-0 Monday night after being held hitless by AL Cy Young Award winner Corey Kluber for nearly six innings.
George Springer and Jake Marisnick each drove in a run for the Astros. Making his first opening-day start, Keuchel (1-0) allowed three hits and struck out four in seven innings.
Tony Sipp threw a perfect eighth and new closer Luke Gregerson worked a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.
Kluber (0-1) didn’t allow a hit until Jose Altuve’s soft single dropped in front of Michael Bourn in center field with two outs in the sixth. Altuve stole second and scored on a single by Springer, who was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double.
Springer was playing for the first time since July 19, after a quadriceps injury cut short a promising rookie season in which he hit 20 homers in 78 games.
Kluber yielded three hits and two runs with seven strikeouts in 7 1-3 innings a day after agreeing to a five-year, $38.5 million contract.
Jed Lowrie drew a one-out walk in the eighth before a single by Colby Rasmus chased Kluber. He was replaced by Scott Atchison, and Marisnick’s sacrifice fly scored Lowrie to push the lead to 2-0.
Kluber retired his first seven batters before walking Rasmus with one out in the third. But the right-hander got back on track quickly, setting down the next two Astros to end the inning.
He threw a perfect fourth with two strikeouts before Chris Carter came close to knocking one out of the park to start the fifth inning. Brandon Moss grabbed the long fly on the warning track in front of the bullpen.
Keuchel also retired the first seven he faced, including striking out the side in the second. Lonnie Chisenhall singled with one out in the third.
Keuchel walked one in the fourth and two in the fifth, but didn’t allow another hit until back-to-back singles by Carlos Santana and Yan Gomes to start the seventh.
The left-hander escaped the jam by retiring the next three batters to end the threat and his night.
Indians: OF Nick Swisher, on the 15-day disabled list, was with the Indians in Houston for opening day, but will travel to Cleveland on Tuesday to continue rehabilitation from surgery on both knees. Manager Terry Francona is encouraged with the progress of the 34-year-old. "He’s doing pretty well," Francona said. "He’s done a really good job of being so consistent on everything they’ve asked him to do."
Astros: Houston pitchers Brad Peacock, Josh Fields and Brett Oberholtzer started the season on the disabled list, but are making progress in their recoveries.
Peacock, who had hip surgery this offseason, is expected to make a rehabilitation start for Triple-A Fresno late this week. Fields, who has a groin injury, will throw a simulated game in the next couple of days.
Oberholtzer, who has a blister on his left index finger, is getting better, but is behind the other two in his recovery. Manager A.J. Hinch said the skin on Oberholtzer’s finger is healing but he isn’t sure when he’ll throw off the mound.
Both teams are off Tuesday before Houston’s Scott Feldman opposes Carlos Carrasco on Wednesday. Carrasco has been great in three games, with two starts, in his career against Houston, going 1-0 with a 0.56 ERA and 21 strikeouts.
Feldman had a 3.74 ERA last year in his first season with the Astros.