Miami at Houston

W: B. Hand (2-2) L: D. Keuchel (9-7) S: S. Cishek (25)
HR: MIA - None   HOU - None

Hand, Mathis send Marlins to 2-0 win over Astros


HOUSTON (AP) Brad Hand knows he has to prove he belongs in Miami's rotation. His last five starts might be making the decision easier.

The left-hander pitched three-hit ball into the eighth inning and Jeff Mathis had a two-run double for the Marlins in their 2-0 victory over the Houston Astros on Friday night.

Hand struck out four and walked two in a career-high 7 1-3 innings to earn his second straight win.

''Nothing's done yet,'' Hand said. ''I am still trying to go out every fifth day and solidify myself in this rotation. Nothing is going to be given to me or anything. I'm going to have to prove it every fifth day.''

Hand (2-2) cruised through the first five innings, allowing just two baserunners, and retired seven of his first eight batters. Chris Carter reached on a walk in the first and Gregorio Petit singled with one out in the third.

''We stuck with the game plan right out of the shoot,'' Hand said. ''We were able to get ahead of the guys. I was trying to get easy, quick outs and groundball outs.''

Hand's previous career high for innings pitched was Sunday against San Francisco when he allowed two runs in seven innings.

He said he doesn't know what's changed for him other than throwing strikes.

''You guys have seen it: When I walk guys, get behind in the count, that's when I get myself in trouble,'' he said. ''The biggest thing for me is to focus and pound the strike zone and make them put the ball in play.''

Hand continued a string of solid starts since transitioning from the bullpen to the rotation at the beginning of July. He has yielded three runs or fewer in each of his five starts.

''That was a tremendous effort by Brad tonight,'' Marlins manager Mike Redmond said. ''He was pounding the strike zone and was in complete control of that game. ... It was fun watching him pitch. He and Matty (Mathis) seemed to be on the same page the whole night and flipped in some nice breaking balls and changeups and ran that fastball in and out.''

Donovan Solano and Giancarlo Stanton each had two hits for the Marlins, who won their fifth in sixth games.

Miami was able to get to Dallas Keuchel (9-7) in the seventh.

Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached on an error by center fielder Enrique Hernandez. Adeiny Hechavarria hit an infield single with two outs before Mathis drove in both runners with a double.

''I was frustrated earlier,'' said Mathis, who grounded into an inning-ending double play in the fifth. ''I had a chance to push a run across and was not able to do it. Brad kept us in the game. I had another opportunity, and luckily, got it done.''

Bryan Morris got two outs in the eighth, and Steve Cishek pitched a perfect ninth for his 25th save.

Keuchel, who had given up four runs or more in each of his last five starts, allowed two runs - none earned - and nine hits with seven strikeouts in seven innings.

''I definitely need to be a little bit better,'' he said. ''I don't think I lost it, I just think it was some bad breaks. I think I've pitched well, just the results haven't been there.''

The left-hander retired nine of the first 10 batters he faced but ran into trouble in the fifth and sixth, allowing the first two batters to reach in both innings. Houston's defense helped him out both times, turning double plays in each inning.

''If you look at the way he pitched tonight, he deserves to fare better,'' Astros manager Bo Porter said. ''Defensively, we did let him down. We gave them extra outs that extended the inning and allowed them the two runs they got.''

Houston, which has lost three straight to fall a season-high 19 games under .500, did not get a runner past second base. Carter reached second in the first, and Jason Castro doubled in the eighth to chase Hand.

NOTES: Miami recalled catcher J.T. Realmuto from Double-A Jacksonville and optioned right-hander Anthony DeSclafani to Triple-A New Orleans. ... Houston selected the contract of Petit, an infielder, from Triple-A Oklahoma City. He started at shortstop. The Astros optioned right-hander Anthony Bass to Oklahoma City after Thursday's game. ... Houston also transferred right-hander Matt Albers to the 60-day disabled list. ... Miami challenged the original safe call on Jose Altuve's attempted stolen base in the sixth. After review, the call was overturned and Altuve was out.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
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Players of the Game

B. Hand
IP 7.1
H 3
ER 0
BB 2
K 4

D. Keuchel
IP 7.0
H 9
ER 0
BB 0
K 7

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Christian Yelich, LF5010022.277.354.422
Donovan Solano, 2B4020101.266.316.323
Giancarlo Stanton, RF4020013.296.395.542
Casey McGehee, 3B4010024.311.379.385
Jeff Baker, 1B4010011.246.296.362
Jarrod Saltalamacchia, DH4110013.232.332.415
Marcell Ozuna, CF4010024.267.317.447
Adeiny Hechavarria, SS3110102.272.297.333
Jeff Mathis, C4012002.200.285.282
Brad Hand, P0000000.000.000.000
   Bryan Morris, P0000000.000.000.000
   Steve Cishek, P0000000.000.000.000
2B - Jarrod Saltalamacchia (14, Keuchel), Jeff Mathis (3, Keuchel)
RBI - Jeff Mathis 2 (8)
2-OUT RBI - Jeff Mathis 2 (7)
SB - Adeiny Hechavarria (6, 2nd base off Veras/Castro)
CS - Donovan Solano (2, 3rd base by Keuchel/Castro)
Team LOB - 9
DP - McGehee-Solano-Baker, McGehee-Solano-Baker-Hechavarria-Solano-Baker
Miami Marlins
Brad Hand (W,2-2) 7.1300240 4.19
Bryan Morris (H,10) 0.2000010 1.97
Steve Cishek (S,25) 1000020 3.25
WP - Brad Hand (3)
Pitches-Strikes - Brad Hand 97-66, Bryan Morris 10-7, Steve Cishek 18-13
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Brad Hand 12-3
Batters Faced - Brad Hand 24, Bryan Morris 2, Steve Cishek 3
Houston Astros
Jose Altuve, 2B4010001.337.373.439
Enrique Hernandez, CF4000010.277.338.385
Chris Carter, DH1000210.212.291.478
Matt Dominguez, 3B3000002.234.280.365
Jesus Guzman, 1B-LF3000010.197.274.268
Jason Castro, C3010010.226.296.372
Robbie Grossman, RF3000001.200.315.303
L.J. Hoes, LF2000010.171.228.297
   a-Jon Singleton, PH-1B1000011.178.261.338
Gregorio Petit, SS2010000.500.500.500
   b-Marc Krauss, PH1000010.176.269.303
Dallas Keuchel, P0000000.000.500.000
   Josh Fields, P0000000.000.000.000
   Jose Veras, P0000000.000.000.000
a-struck out for Hoes in the 8th
b-struck out for Petit in the 9th
2B - Jason Castro (16, Hand)
CS - Jose Altuve (5, 2nd base by Hand/Mathis)
Team LOB - 2
DP - Petit-Altuve-Guzman, Petit-Altuve-Guzman-Altuve-Petit-Guzman
E - Enrique Hernandez (2, Dropped line drive)
PB - Jason Castro (7)
Houston Astros
Dallas Keuchel (L,9-7) 7920070 3.11
Josh Fields 1200110 4.30
Jose Veras 1000110 6.35
WP - Dallas Keuchel (2)
Pitches-Strikes - Dallas Keuchel 98-68, Josh Fields 34-22, Jose Veras 17-10
Ground Balls-Fly Balls - Dallas Keuchel 7-5, Josh Fields 1-1, Jose Veras 2-0
Batters Faced - Dallas Keuchel 28, Josh Fields 6, Jose Veras 4
Game Information
Attendance - 23132
Game Time - 2:59
Temperature - 73
Umpires - Home - Ed Hickox, First Base - Pat Hoberg, Second Base - Todd Tichenor, Third Base - Ron Kulpa