OAKLAND, Calif. -- Dallas Keuchel's rough start to the season is now a fading memory.
Keuchel, the reigning American League Cy Young Award winner, will try to extend his three-game winning streak when he and the Houston Astros face the Oakland A's and rookie left-hander Dillon Overton on Tuesday night in the second game of a three-game series.
Keuchel (6-9, 4.80 ERA) has made five consecutive quality starts and owns a 2.78 ERA during that stretch. In his first 14 starts, the left-hander went 3-9 with a 5.54 ERA.
"He has kind of worked his way back into form," catcher Jason Castro said Monday before Houston's 7-4 loss in the series opener. "I think the way baseball is, you play so much, you can kind of hit patches where you lose your rhythm. He went back to some video and watched the rhythm and the timing of his delivery and his windup and tried to tighten that back up. I think that's helped him be a little more consistent with his release point."
Keuchel went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA last season, and he is starting to show that Cy Young Award-winning form again.
In his previous start on July 10, Keuchel gave up one run on four hits over seven innings and got a no-decision in Houston's 2-1 victory against Oakland. He struck out five and walked two. Before that outing, he allowed two runs and five hits over six innings in a 5-2 victory against the Seattle Mariners. He struck out six and walked one.
"It's mostly about command and control with him," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said. "When he repeats his delivery and can make the ball do whatever he wants, he's as efficient and good as anybody in the league. That's why he won the Cy Young. The execution part of his game has taken a nice leap forward.
"He's been better at inducing soft contact, things that replicate the success he's had in this league. The last couple starts he's missed bats, and he's gotten ground balls."
Overton will be recalled Tuesday from Triple-A Nashville for his second stint this season with the A's. Left-hander Sean Manaea was initially slotted to pitch, but he was forced into action Sunday against Toronto. Starter Rich Hill lasted only five pitches because a blister on the middle finger of his left hand popped, and then right-hander Andrew Triggs was hit by a line drive on his left calf and exited after the first inning. Manaea pitched five innings.
Overton went 1-1 with an 11.42 ERA in his first two major league starts in June before being sent down to Nashville on July 1. In his second start, he gave up eight runs on eight hits over three innings in a 12-6 loss to the San Francisco Giants and lefty Madison Bumgarner.
"The last game I was up here, we kind of switched some things up, which obviously didn't work out very well," said Overton, who won his two starts at Nashville after being sent down. "I just stuck to what I've been doing and everything's been working out.
"I wasn't working in to as many hitters as much as I wanted to (against San Francisco), so I wasn't able to open up the outside of the plate with my changeup. And usually I like to throw way into hitters and use the changeup on the other side, but that last game up here I wasn't able to do that. I just went back to that when I went back down, and everything was going good."
A's manager Bob Melvin said the reports from Triple-A on Overton have been good throughout the season.
"He's been throwing pretty consistent for them all year," Melvin said. "We got a short sample up here. He had one pretty good game and one where he struggled a little bit. It's great that he'll get another opportunity.
"Obviously, the reason for it's not great, but this is a guy we talked about in spring training and we felt that at some point in time this year he'd get an opportunity, and this will his second one."