Houston takes two of three in the series

Astros take series from Royals with walk-off win in Bregman's return

Alex Bregman made his long-awaited return to the Astros' lineup on Wednesday. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

With a win Tuesday night to even this three-game set at a game apiece, the Astros put out a revitalized lineup on Wednesday afternoon to try and get the series victory. Despite the Royals getting a big blow in the late stages of the game, Houston would come away winners in extra innings.

Final Score (10 innings): Astros 6, Royals 5

Astros' Record: 75-52, first in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Kendall Graveman (5-0)

Losing Pitcher: Joel Payamps (0-3)

Houston goes in front after trading homers

After scoreless frames in the first and second, Martin Maldonado would start the scoring for the day with a one-out solo homer in the bottom of the third, giving the Astros a 1-0 lead. It was short-lived, as Salvador Perez would match that to lead off the fourth, tying the game. Yordan Alvarez responded in the bottom of the inning, though, getting the third solo homer in as many half-innings, putting Houston back on top 2-1.

The score held there through the fifth inning, then in the bottom of the sixth, Alex Bregman recorded his first RBI in his first game rejoining the team from the IL, getting a two-out double to score a run and extend the lead to 3-1.

McCullers Jr. has a rough end to an otherwise great start

Meanwhile, on the mound for Houston was Lance McCullers Jr., who, other than that solo homer back in the fourth, was doing exceptionally well. After holding the Royals to their one run over the first six, he came back to the mound with the 3-1 lead in the top of the seventh, looking to get through it to finish his day.

Things unraveled for him, though, as after two quick outs, he would load the bases on a single and two walks, ending his day as Dusty Baker would bring in Cristian Javier to try and get out of the jam. Instead, Javier would allow a go-ahead grand slam on his first pitch, with three of the runs charged to McCullers to dramatically degrade his line: 6.2 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 4 BB, 7 K, 1 Hr, 107 P.

Astros take the series with walk-off win in extras

Down 5-3 after the grand slam, Houston started to claw their way back into it in the bottom of the seventh. Jake Meyers led the inning off with a single, got into scoring position on a groundout, then scored on an RBI single by Aledmys Diaz to make it a one-run game. Javier, who allowed the big blow in the seventh, returned and retired the side in order in the top of the eighth to keep it 5-4.

Houston tied things up in the bottom of the eighth, getting a runner to second base before bringing in Michael Brantley to pinch-hit, who would deliver a game-tying RBI single. After a scoreless ninth inning on both sides, Kansas City started the top of the tenth with their free runner on second but would do nothing with it as Kendall Graveman would get through the inning unscathed. That left the door open for the Astros, and with Bregman on second to start the bottom of the tenth, he moved to third on a Kyle Tucker single, then scored on an RBI groundout by Jake Meyers to win the game and the series.

Up Next: Houston will enjoy a day off tomorrow as they pick up a three-game series with the Rangers on Friday in Arlington at 7:05 PM. The pitching matchup for the opener is Jake Odorizzi (6-6, 4.52 ERA) for the Astros and Lordan Lyles (6-10, 5.33 ERA) for the Rangers.

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MLB Network released their list of the top 10 starting pitchers in baseball this week, and two names were suspiciously left off. Framber Valdez and Cristian Javier are nowhere to be found on the list. Apparently, dominating one of the best lineups in baseball on the biggest stage means nothing?

Be sure to check out the video above as Paul Gallant shares his thoughts on the rankings.

Listen to The Paul Gallant Show from 10am-12pm weekdays on ESPN 97.5 & 92.5 FM!

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