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Game Recap: Keuchel Continues Hot July. Tames Tigers 3-0. Marisnick optioned to Fresno. Cole Returns

20th Bregman home run secures win. Rondon saves it.

MLB: Detroit Tigers at Houston Astros
Hugs for homers. At this rate Alex Bregman’s gonna get squeezed to death.
Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

The Keuchel roller coaster continues.

Down in April. Up in May. Way down in June. On top of the world this wonderful July. As ole Frank Sinatra used to sing, that’s life.

For Dallas June was a swoon that couldn’t leave to soon. In 28.1 innings pitched he gave up 39 hits and 18 earned runs for an astronomical (in the bad way) 5.72 ERA. His season ERA was 4.22 after June 30th.

So far in July its like CY Keuchel is back: 20 innings, 17 hits, only 3 earned runs. His season ERA is back down to 3.75.

Keuchelangelo painted himself into a few corners tonight, but always found a way out. In the 3rd inning he allowed two singles to start the inning. Yet he escaped unscathed, with the help of the first of two double plays.

In the sixth he had the bases loaded and one out, but again wriggled free on an infield pop up and a ground out, tag out by second.baseman Jose Altuve.

For the night Keuchel pitched six innings, allowed six hits and one walk. He struck out four and got seven ground outs against only four fly outs. Vintage Keuchel: good command, mixing pitches, location and speed, keeping hitters guessing.

The Astros got all the scoring they would need in the first inning on Alex Bregman’s 2 run home run, his 20th, a career high.

In the third inning Yuli Gurriel, of course, after all there was a runner in scoring position, would plate the third Astros run, scoring, yeah, Alex Bregman, who singled earlier that inning.

All Astros runs came off former Astro Mike Fiers, who pitched well enough to get a quality start, but whose team could not manage a clutch hit.

Hooray for the bullpen. Three fairly uneventful scoreless innings by Tony Sipp, Brad Peacock and Hector Rondon preserved the Astros shutout. Hector Rondon, now firmly ensconced as the closer with the departure of Ken Giles, got his 8th save.

In unrelated news, according to Brian McTaggart, the Astros are optioning Jake Marisnick back to AAA Fresno to make room for Gerrit Cole, who is returning from bereavement leave.

Tomorrow Cole pitches against Michael Fulmer at 3:10 CDT in game two of the series with Detroit.

Box score and video here.