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Royals fall to the Astros in extras 6-5

The bullpen just wasn’t able to shut things down.

Kansas City Royals v Houston Astros Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

After being shutout in Game 2 on Tuesday night, the Royals were victim of a walk-off and fell to the Houston Astros in extra innings. With the loss, Kansas City finishes with a 4-3 record against the Astros in 2021.

Following back-to-back quality starts from Daniel Lynch and Brady Singer, Mike Minor climbed the bump looking to continue the trend of solid pitching. Through the first two innings, the veteran lefty held the Houston lineup scoreless. However, in the bottom of the third, former Royal Martín Maldonado pummeled a 3-1 fastball into the Crawford Boxes in left field.

Trailing by one, Kansas City wasted no time tying things up. Salvador Perez, who already had a home run in the series, blasted a solo shot to left field to make it a 1-1 game.

Minor was bitten by the long ball, again, in the bottom of the fourth. Houston re-took the lead in the frame on another solo shot — this time off the bat of Yordan Álvarez. The Astros added some insurance two innings later when Alex Bregman knocked an RBI-double off the wall to make it 3-1.

For most of the afternoon, Lance McCullers Jr. dominated the Royals’ bats. The right-hander worked through 6 23 innings, but ran into serious trouble in the seventh. With two outs and nobody out, McCullers loaded the bases on a single and two walks — bringing Whit Merrifield to the plate. On the first pitch from the Houston bullpen, Merrifield crushed a go-ahead grand slam — giving the Royals a 5-3 lead.

Unfortunately for Kansas City, the Astros came right back with a run of their own in the bottom of the seventh off Domingo Tapia. To escape the jam, Richard Lovelady entered with two outs and two on. The left-hander managed to bail out Tapia and maintain the lead. In the ensuing inning, though, Houston tied it up on a two-out, RBI-single by Michael Brantley.

The score remained deadlocked until the bottom of the 10th. After Kansas City was scoreless in the top half, the Astros walked it off on a groundout by Jake Meyers.

The Royals, 56-70, head to Seattle for a four-game series with the Mariners on the West Coast. Brad Keller squares off with Yusei Kikuchi. First pitch is set for 9:10 p.m. CT.