Kansas City Royals not dead yet, blow out Houston Astros

USA TODAY Sports

Continuing the slow march back to .500

The Kansas City Royals took care of business on Saturday, blowing out the Houston Astros 7-2 at Kauffman Stadium.

The Royals hopped on the board in the bottom of the first inning. David Lough hit a single to centerfield, then advanced to second when Brandon Barnes misplayed the ball. Salvador Perez hit a one-out single, which scored Lough, then Eric Hosmer crushed a two-out double to the left field wall. The double scored Perez, but Hosmer was thrown out attempting to advance to third to end the inning.

Kansas City added to their lead in the bottom of the fourth inning. Hosmer led off the inning with a single to right field, then Lorenzo Cain drew a walk against Bedard to put two runners on. Miguel Tejada followed with single past the shortstop, driving in Hosmer for the first run of the inning.

Jeff Francoeur then smacked a double down the right field line, driving in Cain and moving Tejada to third. Elliot Johnson worked a walk against Bedard after being down 1-2, loading the bases for Lough. Lough swung at the first pitch from Bedard, grounding into a 4-6-3 double play, but did drive in Tejada to give the Royals a 5-0 lead. Alcides Escobar hit a flyout to right to end the inning.

The Royals chased Eric Bedard in the bottom of the fifth inning. Eric Hosmer worked a two-out walk, then scored from first when Lorenzo Cain hit a double to right-center field. Brad Peacock relieved Bedard, and forced a Miguel Tejada flyout to end the inning.

The offense added one more run in the bottom of the seventh, and could have scored more. Peacock hit Perez on the shoulder to start the inning, and surrended a single to Billy Butler to put two on. Hosmer then drew his second walk of the game to load the bases.

Cain followed Hosmer with a fielder's choice groundout; the Astros forced Butler out at third, but Perez was able to score. A Tejada flyout and a Johnson strikeout sandwiched between Francoeur reaching on an error ended the scoring threat, but seven runs proved more than enough.

Lough, Hosmer and Tejada all had multi-hit games, while Cain reached base twice with a single and a walk. I don't want to fall over praising an offense for beating up on a below-average starting pitcher, but given their struggles during the month of May, any sign of life is nice to see.

Ervin Santana had another strong starting, allowing two runs on five hits over seven innings. The right-hander continues to pound the strike zone, fanning six Astros while walking none. Houston scored on a Jose Altuve single and a Chris Carter solo home run, but rarely made solid contact against the starter. J.C. Gutierrez tossed two scoreless innings to close out the game.

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