April 20, 2017 / 3:45 AM / 5 months ago

Reddick finishes hit shy of cycle, Astros down Angels

Reddick finishes hit shy of cycle, Astros down Angels

HOUSTON -- Josh Reddick finished a single shy of the cycle and scored three runs, Dallas Keuchel allowed one run in seven strong innings and the Houston Astros defeated the Los Angeles Angels 5-1 on Wednesday at Minute Maid Park.

“It was huge,” Reddick said. “Not just my day, but in general to be able to drive in runs and score them at the same time. It was a great feeling. Any time you get behind Dallas, you know it’s going to be a really good game and a close game. He’s doing something special right now.”

The Astros (10-5) match their best 15-game start since 2006.

Leading 3-1 in the seventh inning, Reddick blasted a 1-2 pitch from Mike Morin into the front row in right field for a two-run home run. It was Reddick’s first home run since joining the Astros.

Reddick tripled in the first inning, doubled in the sixth and struck out swinging in his only other at-bat, finishing 3-for-4.

“I told him before the game that he wasn’t going to play tomorrow, and I told him from now on I‘m going to tell him a lot that he’s not playing tomorrow if he can have a night like tonight,” Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. “He’s been really good. He provided a nice little spark when we needed it.”

The lone run surrendered by Keuchel came off an RBI single from Yunel Escobar into left field in the third inning, scoring Danny Espinosa.

Keuchel (3-0) gave up one run on eight hits, striking out seven and walking one in seven innings. Keuchel, in four starts, has allowed three runs across 28 innings.

“I’ve just been feeling good and trying to ride the momentum and quality of pitches into the next start,” Keuchel said. “More times than not, I have been making quality pitches. It’s easy when McCann puts down some quality fingers and makes me look better than I am.”

From the beginning, Keuchel had run support.

In the first inning, Jose Altuve lined an 0-1 pitch to right field. Cameron Maybin made an attempted sliding catch but just knocked it down. Reddick, who tripled to left, scored to make it 1-0.

Starter JC Ramirez settled in for the Angels (7-9) after the first, and he hung with the 2015 American League Cy Young winner for a few innings.

From the second to the fourth, Ramirez struck out seven of the nine batters he faced. Ramirez struck out the side in the fourth and five straight at one point.

“I was pounding the strike zone,” Ramirez said. “I said last night I had to mix my pitches. I like what I did today but I threw too much offspeed. It helped me when I was behind in the count and it helped me to put away those guys. I was pounding the zone pretty good.”

Yulieski Gurriel gave Houston the lead in the fifth inning on a single into center field, driving in Alex Bregman.

In the sixth inning, Reddick led off with a double. Two batters and a pair of pitching changes later, Evan Gattis drove in Reddick from third, extending the lead to 3-1.

Ramirez (2-2) gave up three runs on six hits, striking out nine and walking one in 5 1/3 innings. The nine strikeouts were a career high. His previous best was six against Atlanta on June 15, 2016.

“He pitched a great game,” Angels manager Mike Scioscia said. “I think he had a nice blend of all his breaking stuff and used his fastball effectively. He was close to getting away without giving up anything tonight. I thought, when he had the chance to put hitters away, he did. He pitched a strong game.”

NOTES: SS Carlos Correa remains day-to-day, according to Astros manager A.J. Hinch. Correa suffered a right hand contusion on Saturday against Oakland. Correa has been held out of the lineup for three consecutive games. Correa did take batting practice and fielded ground balls before Wednesday’s game. ... The Angels optioned C Carlos Perez to Triple-A Salt Lake, while calling up C Juan Graterol prior to the game.

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