Keuchel, Correa lead Astros over Mariners 3-0
HOUSTON – Dallas Keuchel allowed two hits over seven innings, Luke Gregerson and Ken Giles completed the three-hitter and the Houston Astros beat the Seattle Mariners 3-0 on Monday night in their opener.
George Springer became Houston's first player since Terry Puhl in 1980 to lead off the first game with a home run. Carlos Correa homered and drove in two runs as Houston won on opening day for the fifth straight year.
Keuchel (1-0) went 9-12 with a 4.55 ERA last year after winning the AL Cy Young Award in 2015. Winning on opening day for the third year in a row, he struck out four. Giles allowed a hit and Giles walked one with three strikeouts for the save.
Felix Hernandez (0-1), making his 10th opening day start, allowed two runs and five hits while striking out six in five innings before leaving with tightness in a groin. Hernandez pulled up after racing to cover first base for the second out of the fourth inning on Josh Reddick's grounder. Hernandez was looked at by trainers and threw a couple of warmup pitches before finishing the inning.
He returned to pitch a 1-2-3 fifth inning, then was replaced by Nick Vincent.
Springer hit his 10th leadoff home run. Correa made it 2-0 in the fourth with a 449-foot drive that sailed over the train tracks atop left field, then hit a sacrifice in the sixth.
Keuchel retired his first 10 batters before Robinson Cano singled and Nelson Cruz walked. A two-out walk by Danny Valencia loaded the bases, but Keuchel retired Leonys Martin on a groundout.
Astros: Houston starter Collin McHugh is to make am injury rehabilitation start on Thursday at Triple-A Fresno. McHugh opened the season on the 10-day disabled list because he experienced "dead arm" this spring. The Astros hope he will need just one start before returning to the rotation.
Mariners: RHP Hisashi Iwakuma is scheduled to pitch for Seattle on Tuesday in the second game of this four-game series. Iwakuma went 16-12 with a 4.12 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 33 starts last season.
Astros: Lance McCullers is slated to pitch for Houston on Tuesday. McCullers was 6-5 with a 3.22 ERA in 14 starts last year in a season plagued by injuries.
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