HOUSTON (AP) — Chris Carter homered twice, Dallas Keuchel pitched eight strong innings and the Houston Astros beat the Arizona Diamondbacks 5-1 on Wednesday night.
Keuchel (8-3) won for the sixth time in seven starts. He allowed four hits and a run, striking out five and lowering his ERA to 2.38.
Carter’s first solo home run made it 3-1 in the fourth inning, and he added an opposite-field shot in the seventh. It was the fifth career multihomer game for Carter and second this year.
Carter has struggled this season and is batting just .199, but his power is undeniable and he’s tied for the team lead with 12 homers.
Brandon McCarthy (1-9) allowed eight hits and four runs in six-plus innings to remain winless since May 3.
Aaron Hill homered in the fourth for Arizona’s only extra-base hit.
George Springer had two hits and an RBI and fellow rookie Jon Singleton drove in a run as the Astros won for the fifth time in seven games.
McCarthy has had success in Houston in the past and entered the game 2-0 with a 0.60 ERA in his career at Minute Maid Park.
But the Astros got going against him early, with Springer singling in the first, Singleton drawing a walk and Jason Castro grounding an RBI single. Singleton was thrown out at third on the play.
Jonathan Villar singled to start Houston’s third before a one-out single by Springer. Both players advanced on a wild pitch by McCarthy before Villar scored on a groundout by Singleton to make it 2-0.
The Diamondbacks didn’t get a hit until Hill led off the fourth with his homer to the Crawford Boxes in left field to cut the lead to 2-1.
Paul Goldschmidt singled after Hill’s homer, but Keuchel got back on track after that and retired 13 of his next 14 batters. The only hit in that span came on a single by Chris Owings with one out in the sixth inning.
Ender Inciarte singled with two outs in the Arizona eighth, but Keuchel retired Owings to end the inning and Keuchel’s night.
Springer drove in a run with a sacrifice fly in the seventh inning.
NOTES: The series wraps up on Thursday when Arizona’s Wade Miley opposes Scott Feldman. … Houston 2B Jose Altuve missed his first game of the season because of soreness in his oblique muscle. Manager Bo Porter said Altuve didn’t want to take the day off and tried to convince him to let him play. … Diamondbacks OF Gerardo Parra was out of the lineup for a scheduled day off. … The Astros signed several players taken in last week’s draft. They signed second round pick 1B A.J. Reed, RHP Ryan Thompson (23rd round), RHP Vince Wheeland (24th round), LHP Zach Davis (25th round), INF Mott Hyde (26th round), RHP Brandon McNitt (27th round) and RHP Keegan Yuhl (35th round).