SEATTLE (AP) — Dallas Keuchel tried to deflect the praise of his manager and teammates after his second complete game in his last three starts.
But there is no denying the stellar performances Keuchel has delivered over the last month.
The Houston left-hander pitched a four-hitter in leading the Astros to a 4-1 victory over the Seattle Mariners on Sunday.
Keuchel (6-2) struck out six, walked none and allowed just an unearned run that scored on a throwing error in the second inning. He went 8 2-3 innings in a victory over the Angels in his last start, the only thing keeping him from three straight complete games.
"He is definitely in a groove right now. It's a joy to watch," manager Bo Porter said.
Keuchel has been nearly unhittable in his last four starts. He has earned four victories, thrown two complete games, walked just one and struck out 28. He's allowed just four earned runs with a 1.08 ERA over that span.
"He's been lights out," first baseman Marc Krauss said. "He's been everything you can ask for and more lately."
Keuchel said he's not trying to nibble at the strike zone anymore; an approach that cost him at times as a rookie last season. Instead, he's trying to be more aggressive with his pitches.
"I'm just trying to attack the zone," Keuchel said. "I'm not trying to be too fine anymore. That's what I did my rookie year and obviously I had more walks than strikeouts."
"I'm just trying to go out there and help the team to the best of my ability."
Krauss and George Springer hit two-run homers off Hisashi Iwakuma (3-1), who allowed a season-high nine hits.
Seattle took the early lead with a two-out rally in the second inning. Mike Zunino and Michael Saunders each singled to put runners on first and second. Cole Gillespie followed with a dribbler off the end of the bat up the third-base line. Keuchel fielded the ball and threw wide of first base down the right-field line as Zunino scored.
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