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Benintendi, Dozier come up huge in 3-2 win over Astros


MLB: Houston Astros at Kansas City Royals Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Behind an excellent start from Brady Singer, go-ahead home run by Hunter Dozier, and play of the year candidate from Andrew Benintendi, the Royals came away with a 3-2 win and took the series from the first place Houston Astros. It marks the third consecutive come-from-behind win in as many nights.

In first outing since coming off the injured list, Singer wasn’t effective. However, fans at Kauffman Stadium caught a glimpse of the old right-hander on Wednesday night. Through the first four innings, Singer shut out the Houston lineup with his sinker doing most of the work. The 24-year-old even mixed in his change-up, which has rarely been used this season.

On offense, Kansas City had the pleasure of going toe-to-toe with the last pitcher to win the Cy Young Award for the Royals in Zack Greinke. Like Singer, Greinke had no troubles maneuvering through Kansas City’s lineup. However, the old friend ran into some trouble in the bottom of the fourth.

With runners at first and second, Carlos Santana ripped an RBI-single into center field to break the scoreless tie and “better suit the mood” of those in attendance.

Back on the mound, Singer continued to give the Astros fits. So much so, it appeared that Houston had no idea what pitch he was going to throw next. The right-hander cruised through six scoreless frames with the help of the dazzling defense of Michael A. Taylor.

It wasn’t all sunshine and rainbows for Singer, though. After picking up the first two outs in the seventh, Singer allowed back-to-back singles and a walk to load the bases. With his pitch count over 90, Singer served up a two-run single to pinch-hitting Jason Castro. It was the final batter Singer faced. Domingo Tapia came on in relief and got Jose Altuve to ground out — preventing any further damage.

In the bottom of the seventh, the “comeback kids” worked their devil magic, again. Benintendi opened the frame with an opposite field double, which set the stage for the hot-hitting Hunter Dozier. On a 1-1 count, Dozier murdered a slider down in the zone and pounded it off the Hall of Fame in left field.

Protecting a slim one-run lead, the Royals’ bullpen did their part in shutting down Houston. After Tapia, Josh Staumont tossed a scoreless inning to set up Barlow in the ninth. With two outs and runners at first and second in the ninth, Jose Altuve poked a single to Benintendi in left field. Needing a perfect throw, the former Arkansas Razorback gunned down Chas McCormick at the plate to end it.

The Royals, 52-67, conclude the series with Houston tomorrow afternoon. Mike Minor squares off with Luis Garcia. First pitch is slated for 1:10 p.m. CT.