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Keuchel earns AL Player of the Week honors

Southpaw's splendid efforts give Astros first winner since Oswalt in 2008

Dallas Keuchel is bringing home a rare honor to Houston.

Keuchel, who went 2-0 with a 1.02 ERA, was named the American League Player of the Week on Tuesday, and he's the first Astros pitcher to snare league-wide honors since 2008. Former Astros starter Roy Oswalt was named the National League Player of the Week back in September 2008.

"It's very humbling," Keuchel said. "It's not something I set out to do. I think I just got put in a good position with the defense playing great right now, and the offense picking me up."

Keuchel, a southpaw, started on Monday last week and finished one out shy of a complete game. The southpaw allowed two runs on five hits and tied a season best with eight strikeouts in that start. Keuchel threw 128 pitches, but he still came back to throw a gem on Sunday.

Keuchel, a former seventh-round Draft pick, threw his second complete game of the season in a 4-1 victory over Seattle at Safeco Field. The Mariners netted just four hits and one run, and Keuchel became the first Astros pitcher to go 8 2/3 innings in three straight starts since Darryl Kile in 1993.

Keuchel has gone 6-2 with a 2.55 ERA for the season. His top competitors for the Player of the Week Award included teammate George Springer, who hit .314 with four home runs last week. Texas third baseman Adrian Beltre -- who batted .522 last week -- and Baltimore sluggers Nelson Cruz and Chris Davis earned consideration, as did Toronto veteran Edwin Encarnacion. The only other pitcher to earn honorable mention was the Angels' Jered Weaver, who shut down Houston on Wednesday.

Spencer Fordin is a reporter for
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