Chad Bettis (2-2, 3.74) had flirted with a perfect game for 6 innings last month, but he didn’t get far Monday night as the Houston Astros jumped on the Colorado Rockies’ right-hander for 4 runs in the bottom of the 1st inning and held-on for a 6-3 win at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. On the contrary, the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel (8-2, 2.04) retired the first 15 Rockies that came his way, but Colorado came alive late in the game, leaving Keuchel with the win and a line of 6-2/3 innings, 3 runs, and 4 hits.
George Springer got Houston going early with a leadoff single. Springer went on to go 3 for 4 with 2 home runs and a fine diving catch of a DJ LeMahieu liner down the right-field line. Springer is a nice-looking exciting young player; in fact he looks a lot like Carlos Gonzalez is supposed to. Carlos Correa and Preston Tucker followed Springer with singles, Tucker’s scoring Springer, then after Evan Gattis struck-out, Colby Rasmus blasted a drive into the right-center-field stands to put the Astros out 4-0.
It would go to 5-0 on Springer’s first homer in the 2nd, and Keuchel cruised into the 6th, when he walked Rafael Ynoa on what had to be the only outside pitch home plate umpire Jerry Layne called a ball all night. Nick Hundley broke-up the no-hitter with a single, and after 2 were out, the second Springer’s grab off LeMahieu, Troy Tulowitzki and Nolan Arenado delivered run-scoring singles, and somewhat oddly the Rockies were back in the game. They would knock Keuchel out in the 7th when Mike McKenry led-off with a walk and Brandon Barnes ended-up scoring on a double by Hundley, but they only got one out of it, and Springer’s second big fly of the night pushed the Houston lead back to three in the bottom of the inning.
Colorado went quietly against Pat Neshek in the 8th, and then with Luke Gregerson on in the 9th pinch-hitter Ben Paulsen led-off with a single. McKenry flew-out to Springer, then Corey Dickerson, pinch-hitting for Brandon Barnes, reached on an error by Chris Carter, Paulsen to 2nd. With the tying run at the plate and Gonzalez waiting on the bench, Colorado manager Walt Weiss elected to stick with Ynoa, but the utility man grounded to Gregerson, 1-6-3. Game over.
The interleague rivals go at it again Tuesday afternoon in a scheduled 1:10 MDT start, but tropical storm Bill is scheduled to make landfall near Houston this morning, and there are fears it may not be safe for fans to travel to Minute Maid. In any event, Chris Rusin will be on the case for the Rockies, opposing Vincent Velasquez of the Astros. There’s no TV.