Keuchel chased early, beaten in 1st start against Astros

MLB

HOUSTON (AP)Dallas Keuchel lost in his first appearance against Houston, and Abraham Toro had a career-high four hits to lead the Astros over the Chicago White Sox 8-2 Sunday for their seventh straight win.

Keuchel, a two-time All-Star for the Astros who helped the franchise win its first World Series title in 2017, won the 2015 AL Cy Young Award with Houston. He went 76-63 in seven seasons with the Astros and left after the 2019 season to sign a $55.5 million, three-year contract with Chicago.

Keuchel (6-2) tied a season high by allowing six runs – three earned – in a season-low 2 2/3 innings as the AL Central leaders lost their season-high fourth straight. He gave up seven hits and four walks, leaving after throwing 41 pitches in the third.

He was given a video tribute Thursday during the series opener, and the crowd 39,821 gave him a standing ovation when he came out Sunday,.

The 33-year-old left-hander had been 5-0 in eight starts since an April 30 defeat to Cleveland.

Toro, a 24-year-old who made his big league debut in August 2019, improved to 7 for 11 since he was brought up from the minors last week. He was 1 for 12 during an April callup and was hitting .352 with two homers and 11 RBIs in 17 games at Triple-A Sugar Land.

He hit an RBI infield single in the first) and added three more singles before striking out.

Lance McCullers Jr. (4-1) gave up two runs and two hits in six innings and Carlos Correa homered for the Astros, on their longest winning streak since taking eight in a row from last Aug. 12-20.

McCullers won his third straight decision and has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last eight starts.

Jake Lamb’s two-run homer put the White Sox ahead in the the second, but Houston took a 6-2 lead in the third, when Yordan Alvarez hit a two-run single, Taylor Jones had an RBI double, Keuchel walked Jose Altuve with the bases loaded and reliever Matt Foster walked Chas McCormick with the bases full.

Correa homered leading off the fourth, and Michael Brantley had an RBI single in the fifth.

TRAINER’S ROOM

Astros: OF Kyle Tucker, who is on the injured list due to health and safety protocols, said he did not have COVID-19, but he was working to get his strength back following an illness. Manager Dusty Baker said Saturday that Tucker probably wouldn’t be activated until Monday.

UP NEXT

White Sox: RHP Lucas Giolito (5-5, 3.86 ERA) is scheduled to make his 15th start of the season on Tuesday when Chicago travels to Pittsburgh for a two-game series. Giolito is 4-7 with a 5.49 ERA in 14 interleague starts.

Astros: RHP Jake Odorizzi (1-3, 5.68) will start Monday in the opener of a three-game series at Baltimore. Odorizzi threw four scoreless innings on Tuesday in relief against the Rangers and has allowed three runs or fewer in each of his last five appearances.

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