With Johnny Cueto just having the one hiccup against Luis Valbuena in the second leading to a two-run deficit, the Royals stepped to the plate to face Houston righty Collin McHugh.
Lorenzo Cain lined a one-out single to right. With Cain running to avoid the double play, Eric Hosmer blooped a single to center. Cain hit the bag at third at the precise moment that Carlos Gomez fell to his ass after fielding the ball. Mike Jirschele had his arm a-windmillin' and Cain crossed the plate easily for the first Royal run of the evening.
Unfortunately, neither Kendrys Morales nor Mike Moustakas were able to advance Hosmer, and the Royals left a runner aboard, bringing the score to 2 - 1, Astros.
Cueto has looked MUCH sharper than he has since first coming over from Cincinnati, striking out seven through five and sending down ten in a row with an inning ending strikeout of Luis Valbuena.
In the home half of the fifth, Salvador Perez worked the count full before taking a curveball off the elbow guard for the free pass. Alex Gordon crushed one to the gap, which might have plated Perez but instead it one-hopped into the stands, halting Perez at third. The Gordon double ended McHugh's night, and Mike Fiers entered in relief and promptly served up an Alex Rios double up the line. Both Perez and Gordon scored, Rios stood at second, and the Royals held a 3 - 2 lead. Alcides Escobar bunted Rios to third, and Zobrist sac-flied him home to give the Royals a two-run cushion.
Cueto threw a five-pitch sixth.