Now Commenting On:

Keuchel perseveres after rough first inning

Keuchel perseveres after rough first inning play video for Keuchel perseveres after rough first inning

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Monday marked Dallas Keuchel's turn to audition for one of the final two spots in the Astros' starting rotation, and the left-hander endured a rough first inning before bouncing back to throw three scoreless innings against the Braves.

Keuchel, who appears to have wrapped up a spot on the Major League roster, gave up back-to-back homers to Chris Johnson and Justin Upton in the first inning, but worked swiftly in the second and fourth and escaped a bases-loaded jam in the third.

"I made an adjustment last time out," said Keuchel, who was touched for 13 hits and seven runs in four innings in his last start. "My velocity was down last start, and I hadn't gotten into my legs yet. It was all upper torso, and I've been kind of achy and just trying to get back into my legs. I felt really good coming out of the gate. It was not a very good start."

Keuchel tried to sneak an 0-2 fastball past former teammate Johnson, who crushed it and sent it well over the wall in center field for a three-run homer.

"It's Major League Baseball, so any time you get 0-2, you can't take your foot off the gas," Keuchel said. "I didn't spot a high fastball, and C.J. hit it out. I tip my cap to him. Just kind of worked through it. That's a good lineup over there, so you have to come with your 'A' game every time out, and I did a good job battling through the last three [innings]."

As far as his immediate future with the team, Keuchel isn't worried.

"I've had three send-downs already, so it's nothing new" he said. "Whatever happens, happens. I go out there like it's my last time every time."

Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Tag's Lines. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Boys and Girls Club of America

©2014 MLBAM, LP. All rights reserved.

The following are trademarks or service marks of Major League Baseball entities and may be used only with permission of Major League Baseball Properties, Inc. or the relevant Major League Baseball entity: Major League, Major League Baseball, MLB, the silhouetted batter logo, World Series, National League, American League, Division Series, League Championship Series, All-Star Game, and the names, nicknames, logos, uniform designs, color combinations, and slogans designating the Major League Baseball clubs and entities, and their respective mascots, events and exhibitions. Use of the Website signifies your agreement to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy (updated May 24, 2013).

View MLB.com in English | En Español