Houston's rally comes up short
Astros' losing streak extends to four with another loss to Royals
The Astros entered Wednesday's game, the third of this series, in great need of a momentum shift to snap their losing streak. Despite a late clutch hit to put them ahead, the Royals would one-up them again to hand them their fourth loss in a row.
Final Score: Royals 3, Astros 2
Astros' Record: 70-50, first in the AL West
Winning Pitcher: Blake Taylor (2-4)
Losing Pitcher: Domingo Tapia (1-0)
Greinke posts another quality start
After three and a half quiet innings on both sides, the Royals started the scoring against Zack Greinke in the bottom of the fourth. They notched three straight singles with one out, the third an RBI single to grab a 1-0 lead. Greinke rebounded and remained in control, though, ultimately finishing six innings while allowing just that one run for a quality start. His final line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 85 P.
Houston finally backs him up in the seventh
Jason Castro with a clutch two-out hit!#ForTheHpic.twitter.com/kc1AYF0SLY
— Houston Astros (@astros) August 19, 2021
After struggling to get anything going against Brady Singer, making his second start since returning from injury, the Astros finally started a rally in the seventh. Managing just three hits in the six innings prior, they loaded the bases with two outs on two singles and a walk, reaching the catcher's spot in the lineup, which Dusty Baker would use to swap Martin Maldonado for Jason Castro. That move proved correct, as Castro would deliver a two-RBI single to give the Astros a 2-1 lead.
Astros drop fourth straight despite late rally attempt
Blake Taylor took over for Greinke in the bottom of the seventh, looking to maintain the new one-run lead against the left-handed portion of Kansas City's lineup. The Royals pounced on him, getting a leadoff double then a two-run go-ahead homer to go back on top 3-2. He would get a strikeout against his third batter but was then removed for Kendall Graveman, who finished the frame.
He remained on the mound in the bottom of the eighth, working around a single and hit batter to keep it a one-run game going to the ninth. The Astros would start the top of the ninth with the tying run at the plate, and after a pair of one-out singles, would get it in scoring position and eventually bring Jose Altuve to the plate. He nearly tied it up; getting a single, but a great throw to the plate by Andrew Benintendi would ruin Houston's hopes, dropping their fourth in a row and giving the Royals the first three of this set to secure the series victory.
Up Next: This series's fourth and final game and Houston's last of this road trip will be an afternoon start at 1:10 PM Central on Thursday. Mike Minor (8-11, 5.35 ERA) will take the mound for the Royals, while Luis Garcia (9-6, 3.30 ERA) will start for the Astros.
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