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A-Rod on Dallas Keuchel: 'Tonight was a complete domination'

HOUSTON -- The new and improved Alex Rodriguez avoids excuses. When the Yankees are beat thoroughly and they don't score a run, A-Rod refuses to point out that Joe West's strike zone was sometimes as big as the state Thursday night's game was played in.

Nope, A-Rod is going to rightfully say how excellent one of the best pitchers in the game, Dallas Keuchel, threw the ball in the Astros' 3-0 win over the Yankees.

"Tonight was just a complete domination," Rodriguez said.

Keuchel became the first pitcher to have two complete games in his first two starts against the Yankees since Teddy Higuera did it in 1985. Not bad. (In August 2014, Keuchel threw a complete game in a 3-0 loss at Yankee Stadium.)

On Tuesday, Kuechel struck out a career-high 12, including Rodriguez three times.

"He made me look as silly as I've looked all year," Rodriguez said. "He handled me well all night. He struck me out with a slider, a fastball and a changeup."

Rodriguez did get to Keuchel in the ninth, singling with two outs. After a Mark Teixeira walk and a Carlos Beltran single, the Yankees had their first runner reach second base.

With the bases loaded, Jose Pirela, the tying run, stepped to the plate. Pirela grounded out to end the game.

Keuchel (9-3, 2.17 ERA) worked so quickly that his opponent, Adam Warren, said the short breaks between innings were an adjustment for him.

West helped a little from the start. Chase Headley -- who, like A-Rod, had three K's -- struck out in the first, as did Rodriguez and Teixeira. It looked as if A-Rod complained to West after he was called out.

"I wasn't arguing," Rodriguez said. "I actually asked Joe West, 'Did that ball cut back?' He thought I was arguing. I said, 'No, no, no, I'm not arguing.' I said, 'That was a great pitch, right?' He kind of smiled a little bit."

Teixeira all but admitted he questioned West. In a brief postgame interview, Teixeira continued his beef by trying to say as little as possible.

"You guys saw it," Teixeira said. "I don't have to say anything about the zone."

Teixeira called Keuchel a good pitcher, while adding the zone helped.

"It doesn't hurt," Teixeira said.