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Keuchel notches MLB-leading 5th win vs. A's

Special to MLB.com

HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel allowed only one run over 7 2/3 innings to continue his dominant start to the season as the Astros defeated the A's, 7-2, on Sunday to take the three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The left-hander, who scattered three hits and two walks with a season-high nine strikeouts, is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season by going seven or more innings while allowing two or fewer runs in his first six starts. Keuchel (5-0) also tied the franchise record for wins in April, joining Roger Clemens (2004).

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HOUSTON -- Dallas Keuchel allowed only one run over 7 2/3 innings to continue his dominant start to the season as the Astros defeated the A's, 7-2, on Sunday to take the three-game series at Minute Maid Park.

The left-hander, who scattered three hits and two walks with a season-high nine strikeouts, is the first pitcher in franchise history to begin a season by going seven or more innings while allowing two or fewer runs in his first six starts. Keuchel (5-0) also tied the franchise record for wins in April, joining Roger Clemens (2004).

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"I don't know about best stuff, but it was probably the best command I've had in a while," Keuchel said. "Just trying to continue to attack the zone and get some early contact. Let the defense work. We've got such a great defense that it's kind of fun letting them hit the ball and watching the guys go get it."

Video: OAK@HOU: Keuchel strikes out nine over 7 2/3 frames

After Ryon Healy's RBI single off Luke Gregerson made it 4-1 in the eighth, Marwin Gonzalez responded with a three-run homer that hit the right-field foul pole in the bottom half of the frame. Gonzalez's fifth homer had a 39-degree launch angle, highest for an Astro this season, per Statcast™.

Video: OAK@HOU: Gonzalez dings three-run homer off foul pole

Ken Giles got the final out and his sixth save after inheriting a bases-loaded, two-out situation. On his only pitch, Giles, who relieved Brad Peacock, induced a flyout to right off the bat of Yonder Alonso.

Runs hard to come by for A's offense

"You just try to grind on [Keuchel] a little bit, stay close to him and hopefully you get him out of the game," A's manager Bob Melvin said. "We kept grinding out our at-bats and got their closer in the game, but it wasn't enough."

Video: OAK@HOU: Giles gets out of a bases-loaded jam in 9th

Oakland's Jesse Hahn allowed eight hits, including Brian McCann's two-run single in the fifth, over six innings. Hahn, who entered with a 2.08 ERA, gave up four runs (two earned) with six strikeouts and no walks.

Carlos Correa and Evan Gattis added RBIs for the Astros, who collected 10 hits and begin a key four-game home series with the division rival Rangers starting on Monday.

Video: OAK@HOU: Gattis smacks RBI double off left-field wall

MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Keuchel cools off Davis: Keuchel's biggest adversity came in the opening frame. Trevor Plouffe doubled with one out, then tagged up and advanced to third on a flyout by Healy. That put the potential go-ahead run 90 feet away for a red-hot Khris Davis, who hit three home runs for Oakland in the first two games of the series. But Keuchel struck out Davis swinging to end the threat, and the 2015 American League Cy Young Award winner went into cruise control the rest of the way.

"The five games we've played against the A's, any time Davis is headed back to the dugout and not shaking someone's hand, it's been good for us," Astros manager A.J. Hinch quipped. "This guy has been difficult for us to keep in the ballpark." More >

Video: OAK@HOU: Keuchel strikes out Davis swinging in 1st

Correa's redemption: Correa struck out in Saturday's first inning with runners on the corners and one out, and manager A.J. Hinch cited the lack of early run support as a key factor in the loss. In a similar spot on Sunday, Correa redeemed himself. With two outs and a runner on in the first, Correa drilled a pitch down the left-field line to score George Springer, giving ace Keuchel an early 1-0 lead.

"It's coming," Hinch said of a potential hot streak for his star shortstop. "He's going to warm up as the at-bats increase and he starts to swing inside the strike zone. I thought his zone control was better today, and thus his results were better. The pull double he had to bring in a run, if he can pull a few homers or doubles down the line, that's something for the advance report for other clubs."

Video: OAK@HOU: Correa pulls RBI double down left-field line

QUOTABLE
"Let's not forget, he's a really good all-around player. I don't want to put a microscope on every single facet of what he's doing. He's one member of a really good team, and he's going to carry us at one point, whether that's starting out today with the first RBI. Maybe that will carry over into the next series." -- Hinch on Correa, who is 3-for-28 this season with runners in scoring position.

SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gonzalez's long ball off Frankie Montas was the 42nd in his career but only his second three-run homer.

THIRD TIME'S A CHARM
For the third time this series, Houston's Josh Reddick reached first base on catcher's interference. This one came in the fifth inning with Josh Phegley behind the plate. On Friday, A's backstop Stephen Vogt interfered with Reddick's bat, as he takes a longer swing when he tries to go to the opposite field.

REPLAY REVIEW
A crew chief review was initiated after Gattis doubled to deep left in the fourth inning, scoring Yuli Gurriel to give Houston a 2-0 lead. The ball caromed off the very top of the wall beneath the Crawford Boxes before bouncing back into play, and there was some initial thought that it may have hit above the yellow line. But after viewing all relevant angles, the replay official determined that the ball struck an area that was in play. As such, the original call was confirmed, and it was not a home run.

WHAT'S NEXT
Athletics: Sonny Gray, who has been on the disabled list all season with a right lat strain, makes his season debut at 5:10 p.m. PT on Tuesday in Minnesota, following the team's off-day.

Astros: The Astros start a key four-game home series with the Rangers at 7:10 p.m. CT on Monday with Lance McCullers Jr. getting the start. He was handed his first loss on Wednesday in Cleveland after winning his first two decisions.

Watch every out-of-market regular-season game live on MLB.TV.

Richard Dean is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the A's on Sunday.

Ben DuBose is a contributor to MLB.com based in Houston and covered the Astros on Sunday.

Carlos Correa, Evan Gattis, Marwin Gonzalez, Jesse Hahn, Ryon Healy, Dallas Keuchel, Brian McCann