Dallas Keuchel will try to become baseball’s first seven-game winner when he leads the visiting Houston Astros into the second of three games against the Miami Marlins on Tuesday. Keuchel improved to 6-0 with six dominant innings at Yankee Stadium his last time out, part of the Astros’ current 12-3 run.
Their surge continued with a 7-2 victory in the opener of the interleague series Monday night as Yuli Gurriel hit Houston’s third grand slam in May, a franchise record for one month. Jose Altuve also went deep and drove in three runs for the Astros (27-12), who own the best record in baseball, are 13-6 on the road and have won each of their three interleague games. The Marlins are headed in the other direction and have not won consecutive games since April 22-23. Monday’s loss dropped Miami to 1-6 on its current homestand and 4-15 since it opened the year 10-8.
TV: 7:10 p.m. ET, ROOT Sports Southwest (Houston), FSN Florida (Miami)
PITCHING MATCHUP: Astros LH Dallas Keuchel (6-0, 1.69 ERA) vs. Marlins RH Tom Koehler (1-1, 5.60)
Keuchel is tied for the MLB lead in innings pitched (58 2/3) and his ERA was third overall among qualified hurlers. Thursday’s win over the Yankees was his shortest outing of the year but he tied a season high with nine strikeouts and walked only one. The 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner allowed two unearned runs in seven frames in his only prior start against Miami.
Koehler finished six innings only twice in his first seven starts and has fallen shy of that mark three straight times, including a no-decision against St. Louis on Wednesday in which he gave up four runs in 5 1/3 frames. He threw a season-high 99 pitches in that outing while allowing zero home runs for the first time in 2017. The 30-year-old, who won his only prior start against the Astros, will be careful when facing Evan Gattis (5-for-11 against Koehler), Altuve (2-for-3) and Marwin Gonzalez (2-for-3).
1. Marlins 1B Justin Bour homered Monday and has gone deep four times in his last five games.
2. Miami is 8-20 in interleague play since the beginning of 2016.
3. Houston is 15 games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2005 season (89-73).
PREDICTION: Astros 6, Marlins 3