By Stefan Stevenson/Fort Worth Star-Telegram
Houston Astros’ ace Dallas Keuchel outshined Rangers’ ace Yu Darvish as Houston dominated the series opener 7-1 at Globe Life Park Friday night.
For the second consecutive start Darvish let one mistake mar an otherwise solid outing.
Carlos Correa jumped on a hanging slider for a two-out, three-run homer in the fifth to give the Astros a 3-0 lead.
Darvish surrendered a three-run homer in the fifth to the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista in his last start. Darvish left after five innings with his pitch count at 104. He allowed seven hits, walked one and struck out eight.
The Astros added four unearned runs in the eighth after a throwing error by first baseman Mike Napoli to Dillon Gee covering the bag put the lead-off man on. Yuli Gurriel’s double made it 4-0 and after a hit-by-pitch, George Springer’s two-out, three-run homer pushed the Astros’ lead to 7-0. Gee pitched four innings of relief and was charged with four unearned runs on two hits and a walk.
Keuchel baffled Rangers’ hitters for much of the night. Adrian Beltre’s bloop double in the fourth was their first hit but Rougned Odor struck out swinging to end the inning.
In the sixth, Elvis Andrus and Jonathan Lucroy singled with two outs and Beltre walked to load the bases for Odor, but he grounded out to first to end the inning.
Keuchel struck out seven through six innings. Beltre hit a solo homer in the ninth to give the Rangers their lone run. Keuchel improved to 9-0 after holding the Rangers to three
hits and two walks over six innings.
Meanwhile Josh Donaldson hit two solo home runs, Justin Smoak added a two-run blast and a sacrifice fly and the Toronto Blue Jays held on to beat the New York Yankees 7-5 on Friday night.
The Blue Jays have won six of the first eight games of their 10-game homestand. Toronto starter Francisco Liriano (3-2) returned from the disabled list to pitch five-plus innings, allowing two runs on four hits and two walks. The left-hander struck out five.
Seth Smith and Manny Machado each hit solo home runs in the first inning, and starter Alec Asher threw 6 1/3 solid innings as Baltimore defeated Boston.
Smith homered to lead off the first, and Machado added a 465-foot blast, No. 11 of the season, two batters later which gave Asher and the Orioles an early 2-0 lead.
That proved to be enough for the right-hander, who is trying to earn the No. 5 spot in the rotation.
Astros 7 Rangers 1
Blue Jays 7 Yankees 5
Orioles 3 Red Sox 2
Dodgers 2 Brewers 1
Cubs 3 Cardinals 2
Royals 4 Indians 0
Pirates 12 Mets 7
Marlins 7 Diamondbacks 5
Tigers 15 White Sox 5
Reds 3 Braves 2
Giants 10 Phillies 0
Padres 8 Rockies 5
Nationals 13 Athletics 3
Mariners 12 Rays 4
Twins 11 Angels 5
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