Houston, TX – Houston, TX (SportsNetwork.com) - Jeff Mathis stroked a two-run double during the seventh inning and Brad Hand tossed 7 1/3 effective innings as the Miami Marlins topped the Houston Astros, 2-0, in the opener of a three-game set on Friday.
Hand (2-2) allowed just three hits and two walks with four strikeouts to earn his second straight victory.
"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 the game."
Donovan Solano and Giancarlo Stanton both supplied two hits for the Marlins, who have won five of their last six games.
Jose Altuve, Jason Castro and Gregorio Petit accounted for the Astros' three hits and starter Dallas Keuchel (9-7) gave up just two unearned runs on nine hits with no walks and seven strikeouts in Houston's third straight defeat.
"I don't think I lost it. I just think there were some bad breaks," said Keuchel. "I think I've been pitching well. It's just that the results haven't been there."
The Marlins scored the only runs of the game in the seventh. Jarrod Saltalamacchia reached on center fielder Enrique Hernandez's fielding error and moved to second on a passed ball. Two batters later, Adeiny Hechavarria singled to place men at the corners. Both runners raced home on Mathis' double off the left-field wall.
Steve Cishek retired the Astros in order in the ninth to earn his 25th save of the season.
Solano reached on a bunt single to third to open the fourth, moved to second on a wild pitch, but was thrown out by the catcher Castro while trying to steal third.
Saltalamacchia doubled to lead off the fifth and moved to third on Marcell Ozuna's single to left, but was left stranded after Hechavarria lined out and Mathis grounded into a double play.
Altuve extended his hitting streak to seven games ... Petit, who had his contract selected prior to the game, singled in his first ML at-bat since 2009 during the third inning. Petit last played in the majors on June 8, 2009 as a member of the Oakland Athletics ... Baker has hit in 10 straight game.