Keuchel ended the Yankees’ season two years ago with a strong performance on short rest in the American League Wild Card Game, New York’s most recent playoff appearance before parting ways with veterans such as Carlos Beltran and Brian McCann, both of whom now call Houston home.
A more youthful order didn’t enjoy much more success against the ace left-hander, as Keuchel limited the Bombers to five hits while striking out nine. Including the AL Wild Card Game, Keuchel improved to 5-2 with a 1.24 ERA in seven career starts against the Yankees, who were 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
Carlos Correa hit a two-run home run in the first inning and George Springer added a run-scoring single in the fifth inning off Yankees starter Michael Pineda, who scattered six hits over 6 2/3 innings. Pineda walked one and struck out seven.
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Ellsbury reached on a catcher’s-interference error with the bases loaded in the fifth inning, marking the 28th time in his career that he has done so — one shy of all-time leader Pete Rose (29). Ellsbury set a single-season record by reaching on 12 catcher’s interferences in 2016.
Astros: Right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. (2-1, 3.40 ERA), whose father pitched for the Yankees (1989-90), will start for the Astros in Friday’s 6:05 p.m. CT game at Yankee Stadium. McCullers had allowed 10 earned runs in 9 1/3 innings in his first two road starts this year before holding the Angels to one unearned run and two hits in seven innings on Saturday in Anaheim.
Yankees: Rookie left-hander Jordan Montgomery (2-1, 3.81 ERA) will make his sixth big league start on Friday as the Yankees host the Astros at 7:05 p.m. ET. The 24-year-old last pitched on Saturday at Wrigley Field, picking up the victory as he limited the defending World Series champions to three runs (two earned) on three hits over 6 2/3 innings.
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This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.