Royals complete sweep of Astros with 2-0 victory

Ed Zurga

There's nothing like a series against the Astros to help build some confidence.

The Kansas City Royals received a great start from Luis Mendoza, scoring just enough runs on Sunday to beat the Houston Astros 2-0 and complete the three-game sweep.

The offense scored their only two runs in the eighth inning, fueled by singles and quality baserunning. Chris Getz started the rally with an infield single to second base, then stole on the first pitch from Hector Ambriz to Alex Gordon. Gordon followed with a single to centerfield, driving in Getz to snap the scoreless tie.

Trevor Crowe made a wild throw to home plate on the play, which allowed Gordon to advance to third base. Eric Homser picked up his first hit of the day with a single, driving in Gordon. Salvador Perez then hit a grounder past the shortstop, and Hosmer flashed some impressive baserunning skills by advancing to third on the play.

Billy Butler followed with a shallow flyball on the second pitch of his at-bat, failing to drive in Hosmer. Mike Moustakas ended the inning with a groundout to shortstop.

The Royals loaded the bases in the first inning, but failed to score any runs. Perez hit a two-out single to give the team their first baserunner of the day, then Butler followed with a walk. Moustakas fell down 0-2 to Lucas Harrell, but battled back to work a walk. David Lough grounded out to second base, ending the threat.

Kansas City had Harrell on the ropes early on, forcing the starter to throw 51 pitches in the first two innings. The offense let the right-hander off the hook, as Harrell tossed seven shutout innings against the Royals, only allowing two hits to Perez.

Thankfully, Mendoza kept Astros hitters off-balance all game, scattering four hits across seven innings. Mendoza stuck out three and walked none, forcing nine groundouts on the day.

Houston threatened to score late in the game, but failed to plate any runners. Carlos Pena and J.D. Martinez hit back-to-back singles to lead off the seventh inning, but the next three hitters did not reach base or advance the runners.

Jose Altuve hit a one-out single in the eighth inning against Aaron Crow, then advanced to second base when Hosmer made an error on a Jason Castro groundball. Homser made a nice dive to grab the groundball, but lost control of the ball in the transition to his throwing hand, putting two runners on with one out.

Fortunately, Carlos Corporan lined out to Johnson, who doubled off Altuve at second base.

Greg Holland issued a leadoff walk to Pena in the ninth inning, but forced a double-play and a strikeout to record his 12th save of the season.

The Royals have now one five straight games against the Astros and the Minnesota Twins. The team will welcome the Detroit Tigers into Kauffman Stadium to wrap up the nine-game homestand.

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