If you had only watched Royals/Astros games this year, you’d think the Royals were an aggressive, dynamic team high in the standings while the Astros were a tight, mistake-prone team going through a tough year. Baseball is funny that way! The Royals took the season series from the Astros by taking advantage of their mistakes in a 3-2 win on Saturday night in Houston.
Like last night, the Royals jumped on the Astros in the opening frame. Maikel Garcia reached on an infield single, stole second, and advanced to third on a wild throw. MJ Melendez launched a sacrifice fly to score him and make it 1-0 Royals.
The Royals again struck in the fourth off Astros rookie starter J.P. France without hitting the ball out of the infield. Nick Pratto led off with a single, Kyle Isbel walked, and Maikel Garcia singled to load the bases. Bobby Witt Jr. drove home a run on a ground ball force out and Kyle Isbel scored on a wild pitch to make it 3-0 Royals.
Meanwhile Jordan Lyles defied all odds and tossed five shutout innings for the Royals. He gave up eight fly balls and yet none left the ballpark. Lyles allowed just two hits and two walks with three strikeouts, needing 82 pitches. The Astros finally got on the board in the seventh when Chas McCormick hit a solo home run off Collin Snider. In the eighth, Yordan Alvarez and Kyle Tucker hit back-to-back doubles off Tucker Davidson to make it a one-run game. Taylor Clarke was able to work out of the jam with the lead still intact.
Astros relievers retired the last 13 Royals hitters in a row to end the game, but it didn’t matter as Clarke set Astros hitters down 1-2-3 in the ninth to win the game. The Royals take the series and can go for a sweep tomorrow afternoon at 1:10 CT.