(SportsNetwork.com) - The Houston Astros try to remain in the win column on Friday night behind unbeaten Dallas Keuchel as they resume a four-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays.
Keuchel is coming off his worst outing of the season but it still resulted in a victory that improved the left-hander to 4-0 with a 1.39 earned run average.
Keuchel had not allowed more than two earned runs in any of his first six outings before yielding four on eight hits and two walks over 6 2/3 innings versus the Los Angeles Angels on Saturday. Still, he won a 6-5 decision and struck out seven as the Astros improved to 6-1 when he takes the mound this season.
"Our offense is the story of the game," said Keuchel, who saw Houston hit three homers in the game. "The offense picked me up."
The 27-year-old Keuchel is a perfect 2-0 in three previous starts against the Blue Jays with a 2.95 ERA.
R.A. Dickey takes aim at just his second victory of the season tonight for the Blue Jays, going 1-4 with a 5.00 ERA over his first seven starts.
Dickey beat the New York Yankees on May 4 with eight innings of one-run ball, but gave up two key homers in a 6-3 setback to Boston on Sunday. The right- hander was charged with six runs over his six innings, serving up a three-run homer in the first and then a two-run shot in the fifth.
"The two home runs got him, there's no doubt about it," Blue Jays manager John Gibbons said of Dickey.
It marked the third time in his last five starts that Dickey gave up two homers and he has not struck out a batter in three of his past four outings.
The 40-year-old former NL Cy Young Award winner is 2-4 lifetime versus the Astros with a 4.52 ERA in 11 games (9 starts).
The Astros rallied for a 6-4 victory to win last night, with Jonathan Villar highlighting a key seventh inning with a two-run double to help Houston win a second straight contest.
The opener of the four-game series was decided by the bullpens. The Astros scored four times off Aaron Loup in the pivotal seventh while their relievers shut down Toronto's potent lineup over the final three innings.
Preston Tucker had a memorable Minute Maid Park debut, going 3-for-4 with two doubles, an RBI and a run scored, while the veteran Jose Altuve was predictably productive with two hits, two runs scored and two steals.
Jose Bautista and Edwin Encarnacion hit back-to-back homers in the first inning for the Blue Jays, who have dropped four of their last five following a promising three-game winning streak.
The Astros have won five of their past six against the Blue Jays, who dropped to 2-9 all-time at Minute Maid Park.