Starling Marte Hits 1st Major League Home Run On Dallas Keuchel

In a rookie-to-rookie leadoff set between Astros LHP Dallas Keuchel - making just his sixth Major League start - and Pirates outfielder Starling Marte - making his big league debut - the first pitch was ambushed by Pittsburgh's promising young player.

To add insult to injury, Garrett Jones hit a two-run blast later in the first inning to give the Pirates a commanding 3-0 lead with just one out. The Astros' pitching rotation was sure to take a hit when they dealt Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates, and the decision to bring Keuchel up from Minor League ball is a questionable one at this point.

He's a smart pitcher, but he doesn't have "blow-by" stuff and his most recent outings are alarming. What works in Keuchel's favor is that the Astros have low expectations not only for the rest of this season, but for a while as the rebuilding process continues to unfold. Does the organization have faith in him?

Those are questions to ask later, but for now, marvel in how I hinted as us seeing something special in Marte in the Astros-Pirates series preview on Thursday.

Read more on the Astros at The Crawfish Boxes and SB Nation Houston. Head over to Bucs Dugout and SB Nation Pittsburgh for more on the Pirates. Baseball Nation is your source for news and analysis around Major League Baseball.

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