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Harrison leaves early with stiff back; Keuchel throws 7-hitter to lead Astros over Rangers 8-0

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HOUSTON - The Texas Rangers' list of injured pitchers just keeps growing.

Matt Harrison pitched just 1 2-3 innings in an 8-0 loss to the Houston Astros on Tuesday night before leaving with back stiffness, leaving his status uncertain.

"We'll fight through it," manager Ron Washington said about the mounting injuries. "The games are on the schedule to be played, and we're going to play them. I guess you could say it's extraordinary, but we are going to get the guys up here that can function. We'll get it done."

Dallas Keuchel pitched a seven-hitter for his first major league shutout to lead Houston.

Keuchel (4-2) struck out seven without a walk. He gave up just one extra-base hit, a double by Adrian Beltre in the first inning, and threw his second career complete game.

L.J. Hoes and Carlos Corporan each homered and drove in three runs.

The Astros were shut out 4-0 in the series opener, but jumped on Harrison (1-1) for three runs in the second. Hoes hit a two-run homer in the inning.

"I felt OK warming up, but looking up (at the radar) I noticed that my velocity just kept going down further and further," Harrison said. "Then I knew at that point, something wasn't right."

He said he will go to Dallas on Wednesday to visit a doctor.

Harrison is hoping this problem isn't serious after starting just two games last season after two surgeries to repair a herniated disk in his back.

"I am still thinking about what happened last year and I really don't want to go through that again," he said. "But for now, I am just going to wait for what I find out (Wednesday) and then wrap my head around it."

They were up by four before a four-run fifth inning powered by an RBI single by Hoes and a three-run shot by Corporan.

The roof at Minute Maid Park was open to start the game, but it was closed during the eighth inning with a storm approaching. It was the first Astros game where the roof was both open and closed since 2006.

Houston was up by four before a four-run fifth inning powered by an RBI single by Hoes and a three-run shot by Corporan.

Texas slugger Prince Fielder was thrown out in the fourth, trying to stretch the first of two singles into a double in the fourth. He was initially ruled safe, but Houston manager Bo Porter challenged the call and it was overturned.

Keuchel struck out the side in the second inning and was helped by his defence turning double plays in the third, sixth, seventh and ninth innings.

"He was changing speeds really well," Washington said. "And when he had to make a pitch, he threw that sinker. We just could not centre it. Everything we hit, we just kept beating it into the ground. And he kept throwing it, and we just kept beating it into the ground."

Designated hitter Chris Carter, who entered the game batting just .168, had a season-high three hits, Jose Altuve tripled and doubled and rookie George Springer had an RBI and walked three times.

Hoes hit his first homer since opening day, a two-run shot to the Crawford Boxes in left field to give Houston a 2-0 lead in the second.

Altuve hit a two-out double before Springer walked. Harrison was replaced by Justin Germano after an RBI single by Dexter Fowler made it 3-0.

Harrison allowed four hits and walked three before he was pulled after 1 2-3 innings. He laboured from the start and had already thrown 55 pitches when he left the game.

NOTES: The Rangers will recall Nick Tepesch from Triple-A Round Rock before Wednesday's game to start the finale against the Astros against Scott Feldman. ... Houston general manager Jeff Luhnow said Tuesday that RHP Jose Cisnero will have Tommy John surgery on his right elbow next week. ... Luhnow also said that reliever Matt Albers, who is on the disabled list with right shoulder tendinitis, has some inflammation and won't throw for the next 10 days.

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