Astros drop third straight after quiet night at the plate against Royals
With back-to-back losses on Sunday and Monday, including the opener of this series against the Royals, the Astros entered Tuesday's game in need of a win to get back on track. A cold night at the plate would prohibit them from that, though, as Kansas City would hand them their third-straight loss, taking the first two games in this series.
Final Score: Royals 3, Astros 1
Astros' Record: 70-49, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Daniel Lynch (3-3)
Losing Pitcher: Framber Valdez (8-4)
Correa puts Houston in front, but Royals strike back against Valdez
After two scoreless innings on both sides, Carlos Correa delivered the first run of the game. After a leadoff double in the top of the third, Houston would get runners on second and third, and Correa nearly plated both with a single, but Martin Maldonado would get tagged out at home trying to score, limiting the play to one run and putting the Astros up 1-0. Framber Valdez held the lead in the bottom of that inning, erasing a leadoff single, the Royals' third hit, getting one in each frame to that point.
They'd get two more in the bottom of the fourth, a one-out single, then a two-out RBI double to even the game 1-1. He rebounded with a scoreless sixth, again working around a hit. Things escalated quickly for him in a negative way in the bottom of the sixth, as he would allow an infield single due to him not covering first base, which turned into runners on second and third with two outs. The Royals took advantage, getting a two-RBI double to take a 3-1 lead. He returned in the bottom of the seventh, but after a two-out walk, would hand the ball to Dusty Baker to end his night. Valdez's final line: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 99 P.
Big time two-out knock!#TogetherRoyalpic.twitter.com/C8iAe5wSma
— Kansas City Royals (@Royals) August 18, 2021
Astros drop third in a row
Pedro Baez came in from the bullpen to finish the seventh for Valdez, doing so on one pitch to keep it a two-run game going to the eighth. He returned in the bottom of the eighth, retiring three more batters in order, doing his part to keep Houston within striking distance. However, they'd come up empty again in the top of the ninth, dropping their third straight and the first two games of this series.
Up Next: Another 7:10 PM Central start awaits these teams in the third of this four-game series. Zack Greinke (11-3, 3.51 ERA) will make the start for the Astros, with Brady Singer (3-8, 5.42 ERA) on the mound for the Royals.