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Astros bullpen fails after Keuchel's strong debut

Associated Press Published: June 17, 2012

ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Dallas Keuchel pitched well in his major league debut for Houston, leaving with a 1-0 lead in the sixth inning. The Astros' bullpen couldn't hold it.

Ian Kinsler had a three-run triple and Adrian Beltre hit a two-run homer in Texas' seven-run sixth, leading the Rangers to a 9-3 win over the Astros on Sunday. Houston lost its third straight and fifth in the last six.

Keuchel gave up four hits and four walks in five-plus innings, working out of two-out jams in the third and fourth innings. He was replaced by reliever Fernando Rodriguez after giving up a leadoff single to Nelson Cruz in the sixth.

"Any time a guy can come in and do what he did in his first major league start, it's a success," Astros manager Brad Mills said. "He had the bases loaded in the third and the fourth and he walked four guys, but he battled through it. He made pitches when he had to."

Keuchel, selected in the seventh round of the 2009 draft from the University of Arkansas, was called up from Triple-A Round Rock on Saturday.

Carlos Lee, in his first game back after missing time on the disabled list with a strained hamstring, went 2 for 4 with two RBIs as the Astros' designated hitter.

Texas sent 11 hitters to the plate in the sixth and took advantage of four walks by Rodriguez (1-7).

He started off by walking Mike Napoli and — after a sacrifice advanced the runners — Craig Gentry to load the bases. Kinsler followed with his bases-clearing triple.

After Elvis Andrus walked, Michael Young singled off David Carpenter to drive in Kinsler, and Andrus scored when right fielder Brian Bogusevic was slow getting the ball back to the infield. Beltre followed with his two-run shot into the left-field seats.

Rangers starter Colby Lewis (6-5) gave up three hits and struck out 10 in seven innings to win his second straight outing.

"He was outstanding," Rangers manager Ron Washington said of Lewis. "We (had) opportunities earlier against (Keuchel) . the kid made some pitches.

"But Colby stayed steadfast and kept us around."

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