Angel Zerpa was fantastic in a long relief outing where he pitched four innings with five strikeouts, allowing one walk and one run in a 4-2 win over the Astros Friday night. The Royals smacked three solo home runs and led from start to finish against the defending world champions.
The Royals stranded a pair of runners in the first, but finally got on the board in the third against Astros pitcher Cristian Javier. MJ Melendez hit a one-out single and advanced to second on a passed ball. He moved to third on an infield single by Bobby Witt Jr. and scored on a sacrifice fly by Salvador Perez. Nelson Velázquez scored the easy way with a 440 foot blast in the fourth, his tenth since joining the Royals. The next inning, Bobby Witt Jr. inched closer to joining the 30/30 club by hitting his 29th home run of the year.
Zack Greinke started for the Royals, but had trouble working out of a bases loaded jam in the second inning and was done for the day after that. Angel Zerpa came in and looked impressive, facing the minimum in his first three innings of relief. The Astros finally got on the board in the sixth when José Abreu doubled home Jeremy Peña to make it 3-1 Royals.
Michael Massey padded the lead in the eighth off reliever Phil Maton with his 14th home run of the year, and his fourth in seven games. Abreu homered to lead off the ninth against Taylor Clarke, but the Royals right-hander struck out the next three to get his fifth career MLB save and preserve the 4-2 win.
The Royals improve to 47-101 and can take the series tomorrow evening at 6:10 CT with Cole Ragans facing J.P. France.