MLB Standings: Houston Astros End Losing Slide Without Dallas Keuchel, Solidify Hold of Top Spot in AL West

By Nikko Villanueva, Posted: 06/09/17 07:53PM EDT

The Houston Astros continue to soar in the MLB standings following a convincing 6-1 victory over the Kansas City Royals Thursday. Houston ended its road series versus Kansas City with a 2-2 record. The Astros did it without ace Dallas Keuchel who is back on the disabled list due to a neck issue. 

Houston's win gave the club a 43-18 record to comfortably lead the American League West. The Astros are in full control of the division as they are 13 games ahead of the second-placed Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (31-32) and the third-placed Seattle Mariners (30-31). Their record is currently the best in the MLB standings

Aside from being on top of the MLB standings, Houston's triumph Thursday may have helped them regain momentum since it ended a two-game losing streak. The Astros started their series against the Royals with a victory which extended their previous winning streak to 11 games. Following that, they lost back-to-back before returning on the winning track. 

Despite the recent success, Houston still faces a major dilemma with Keuchel sidelined. The Associated Press reported that the ace is again on the disabled list due to a "neck discomfort." 

"He's going on the DL for a minimum of 10 days. That brings concern in its own right. Being symptomatic with the same injury from earlier in the year is concerning, but until we see him and talk with him, and get another report from the doctor, we just won't know," Astros manager A.J. Hinch said according to the report. 

Hinch is clueless what is happening with Keuchel's neck which began to bother the pitcher last May. But he is hopeful that the 29-year-old can come back to the mound and start again soon. 

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