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Royals down Astros 4-2 on strength of Perez homer

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And some help from the Astros defense.

Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Quick hits:

  • A poor throw by Scott Feldman led to runs
  • Jose Altuve hit a dinger
  • Salvador Perez hit a dinger
  • Joakim Soria got the save

The first five innings had very little action. There were some doubles scattered here and there, but neither team was able to bring those runners in. Yordano Ventura was dealing, dropping his curveball in for strikes like it was his job (it is!). Dangerous hitters George Springer and Colby Rasmus went down on strikes on the first, with Rasmus striking out on four low curveballs. Ventura picked up a few more in the fourth and fifth.

Unfortunately, Scott Feldman was also dealing. The Royals managed a hit in each of the first five innings minus the third inning, but they were not able to score. Feldman got his own share of strikeouts.

The scoring silence was broken in the sixth inning. Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer hit back-to-back singles to put men on first and third for Kendrys Morales, who hit a high, short-distance chopper on the third base side of the mound. Feldman charged, fielded cleanly, and looked Cain back at third. Apparently forgetting that the runner was Morales, Feldman hurriedly slung the ball well over the first baseman's head. Cain scored on the misfire, and Hosmer, invoking shades of his Mad Dash, took a long turn around third before being held. Luckily, Salvador Perez sacrificed himself with a fly ball to the warning track in left, which allowed Hosmer to score.

The Astros responded in the bottom of the sixth inning as Ventura ran into some trouble. Against the first batter of the inning, Ventura left a meaty fastball over the middle of the plate, which Jose Altuve crushed to the train track well beyond the left field fence. Ventura managed to get the next two hitters out, but then he walked Rasmus and gave up a hit to rookie Tyler White. Ventura got Preston Tucker to ground to Alcides Escobar, but he misplayed the grounder, which led to everyone being safe. On a full count to Carlos Gomez, he got a check-swing dribbler to Omar Infante, who got the out.

Ventura's night was done after six innings. His line was four hits, one run, three walks, and six strikeouts. Hochevar came in for the seventh and gave up a triple to Jason Castro, a catcher. The ball bounced off the fence in deep right-center field and wandered over to Tal's Hill, which is dumb and should be removed. With the infield in, Jose Altuve hit a grounder past a diving Escobar, which scored pinch runner Jake Marisnick. That's a routine grounder with the infield in their normal spots. Oh well. Hochevar struck out the next two batters to end the inning, but he left the game with the score tied 2-2.

Former elite closer turned elite setup man Ken Giles came in to pitch the eighth inning and cruised through the first two batters. He then walked Alex Gordon, which brought up Salvador Perez. Giles left a fastball over the middle of the plate, which Perez missed. Stepping back and likely frustrated with himself, Perez gathered himself and smashed a home run over the tall left field fence on a slider two pitches later to re-take the lead.

Kelvin Herrera locked down the eighth. Real-time question while writing this recap - would Wade Davis come out for the save opportunity after a long outing last night? Or would Ned Yost call on Joakim Soria to get the save?

It was Soria. A blast from the past. The last time Soria got a save for the Royals was September 11th, 2011, against the Seattle Mariners in a 2-1 victory. Everett Teaford started that game. Chris Getz and Jeff Francoeur both played that game.

Against Luis Valbuena - three pitches, three strikes. One out.

Against pinch hitter Marwin Gonzalez - one pitch. Two outs.

Against Jose Altuve - one pitch. Three outs.

Joakim Soria threw five pitches to lock down the victory. That's vintage awesome Soria. These are not your "vintage" Royals.