Published September 16, 2012
| Sports Network
Houston, TX – Justin Maxwell hit a two-run homer and the Houston Astros blanked the Philadelphia Phillies, 5-0, in the third test of a four-game set.
Dallas Keuchel (2-7) scattered five hits and walked four over 5 1/3 scoreless frames for Houston, which has won two of the first three games of the series.
"I got too wrapped up in results, trying to get good results," Keuchel said. "That's now how it's supposed to be. I'm headed in the right direction."
The red-hot Kyle Kendrick (9-11), who came into the contest 5-1 with a minuscule 1.49 ERA over his last six starts, surrendered four runs on seven hits in five innings for the Phillies, who sit three games behind the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers for the National League's second wild- card spot.
"We really can't afford to lose games," Kendrick said.
Philadelphia, which came into the set with a seven-game winning streak, was 0- for-10 with runners in scoring position and stranded the bases loaded in the first and fourth frames.
The Astros plated two in the first, and one in each of the third, fifth and sixth innings.
Jose Altuve led off the first with a single to left field and with two outs, Maxwell lined a hanging changeup into the Crawford Boxes in left field.
Three-straight singles by Matt Dominguez, Jason Castro and J.D. Martinez loaded the bases with no outs in the third.
Keuchel chopped a grounder to first and Ryan Howard came home with the throw for the force out, but Altuve's grounder to first brought Castro home for a 3-0 advantage.
Keuchel led off the fifth with a single to center field and moved to second on Altuve's sacrifice bunt. After Fernando Martinez fouled out, Brett Wallace plated Keuchel with a ground-rule double.
Martinez's RBI single in the sixth made it 5-0.
The Phillies were shut out for the sixth time this year and second since the All-Star break ... The Phillies left 12 men on base ... Houston was 4-for-13 with runners in scoring position.