Astros make it three straight wins
Astros daily report presented by APG&E: 3 hits from the 6-4 win
Back in Houston after the road trip last week, the Astros looked to extend their two-game winning streak to start the series with the Royals. Here's how the game wound up:
Final Score: Astros 6, Royals 4
Record: 21-14, first in the AL West.
Winning pitcher: Gerrit Cole (3-4, 4.17 ERA)
Losing pitcher: Jakob Junis (3-3, 5.52 ERA)
1) More long balls lead another big offensive night
The Astros picked up where the left off over the weekend, getting another strong offensive night highlighted by several home runs. George Springer started things off with a solo dinger in the bottom of the first to give Houston a 1-0 lead, then Carlos Correa doubled that lead with a solo shot of his own to extend his hitting streak to 16 games and make it a 2-0 game in the bottom of the second.
Houston threatened to break it open in the third, loading the bases with one out, but would only come away with one run after an RBI-walk from Josh Reddick to extend the lead to 3-0. After the Royals roared back to take a 4-3 lead, it was Robinson Chirinos who put the Astros back in front with a two-run opposite-field home run in the bottom of the sixth to make it 5-4. That score would hold until the bottom of the eighth when Springer struck again, getting an RBI on what should've been a triple but the Royals were able to get him sliding past third base, but still resulted in an insurance run to make it a 6-4 game.
2) Cole strikes out nine
Gerrit Cole had an up-and-down night, starting the game with three scoreless innings during which he struck out four, then allowed two-run home runs in two consecutive innings over the fourth and fifth. Luckily, Chirinos backed him up with the two-run home run to take him off the hook and put him in position for the win. Cole would finish with the four earned runs on seven hits, zero walks, while striking out nine to increase his league-leading number to 74.
3) Bullpen and defense hold on to the one-run lead
Will Harris was first out of the bullpen to finish off the seventh inning for Cole and was able to get those two outs quickly. That allowed him to continue on in the eighth, but after loading the bases with two outs he was pulled in favor of Hector Rondon. Rondon would get out of the bases loaded jam, but not without an incredible play on defense from Jose Altuve to field a ground ball just in time to get the runner out at first to end the inning. That would set up Roberto Osuna who would enter in the ninth and tally his eighth save of the year after a scoreless ninth.
Up Next: The Astros and Royals will continue this series tomorrow night with first pitch at 7:10 PM from Minute Maid Park. Collin McHugh (3-3, 4.97 ERA) will look to improve his early-season numbers for Houston as he goes up against Danny Duffy (0-1, 3.27 ERA) for Kansas City.
The Astros daily report is presented by APG&E.