Astros drop third straight after quiet night at the plate against Royals

Houston's offense was held to just one run on Tuesday in Kansas City. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

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.

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.

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Here's why the Texans will make the playoffs under Lovie Smith

1. The Houston Texans had a mentally tough practice Saturday. The team has worked a lot in pads and Lovie Smith noted the days starting to build up on them during this practice. The head coach said this is a good practice because it is like the fourth quarter of the games the team will end up playing.

2. Davis Mills threw one of the best passes he has thrown all camp on Saturday. In a red zone drill, he dropped back and whipped a pass between two defenders into the tightest window he has had all camp. Nico Collins hauled in the threaded pass for a score.

3. A few reps later Davis Mills struck again. With traffic from linebackers and defensive backs, he found Chris Conley for a score. It wasn’t as tight of a window as the first one, but Mills snapped it off nonetheless.

4. Pharaoh Brown made something hard look very easy on Saturday. With Mills rolling out and tossing the ball to Brown in the back corner Brown hauled in a one-handed catch and had both feet down. Touchdown. Brown then acted like it was no big deal.

5. Pharaoh Brown has had a wonderful camp. Lovie Smith named him the starting tight end. The thing that really jumped out to me today is he makes his work look easy. He isn’t straining to excel in his opportunities. The good ones always make it look easy and it has looked easy for Brown so far.

6. Rookie linebacker Christian Harris is on the shelf for a few days. He joins fellow rookie Kenyon Green as players who are injured. Max Scharping played left guard with Green down. Wide receiver Phillip Dorset practiced while veteran wideout Chester Rodgers did not.

7. Roy Lopez flashed again today. While Friday was about the rushing attack and Lopez made his presence felt at defensive tackle, he got into the pass rush Saturday. Lopez would have had a bone-crushing sack in a live rep.

8. Ross Blacklock hasn’t been consistent. A statement like that is good and evil. There are some plays where Blacklock looks like he isn’t a factor. I watched one today. A play later he had what would have been a sack on the play. He’s a player to watch in the preseason games closely.

9. Don’t expect to see Derek Stingley in the preseason opener next Saturday. Lovie Smith wouldn’t commit to the rookie cornerback playing in the preseason. Smith did say Stingley is on track to play week one in the regular season.

10. Brevin Jordan has had a nice camp and should be an important piece for the team. Jordan had a bad drop in 7-on-7 drills that he was beating himself up over for a few minutes. That was out of the norm. He’s been used a lot and will be on the field a bit it seems for the Texans.

11. Brevin Jordan also rattled off a few contenders for the quote of the day. He exclaimed he had taken care of himself this offseason and he finally had abs. He also revealed he’s quite the fisherman and once caught a 125-pound tuna. When asked what he did with the tuna Jordan laughed and said “RIP tuna!”

Listen to Cody Stoots weekdays afternoons 3-7pm on his show "The Wheelhouse" live on ESPN 97.5 + 92.5 FM or anytime on demand at the podcast here.

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